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Legally armed citizen thwarts 5-man smash-and-grab attempted robbery at jewelry store

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Photo by Ashley Cooper/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Authorities say that a jewelry store owner stopped a smash-and-grab robbery at his Upland, California, store on Thursday after brandishing his legally owned firearm.

What are the details?

Four suspects stormed the Uptown Jewelry Mart on Thursday afternoon and deployed a large canister of bear spray on patrons inside the store, when the store's owner pulled out his gun and threatened to shoot the gang, the Daily Bulletin reported.

The suspects fled to a waiting getaway car driven by a fifth suspect and escaped the scene before police could arrive.

A report from the Fontana Herald News noted that the department received a tip from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office in Chino Hills, which was said to "provide invaluable suspect information."

Through the tip, authorities were able to locate and arrest four of the five suspects in connection with the crime, and they said that the majority of the men involved in the attempted robbery were gang-affiliated.

The Herald News added that the suspects were believed to be responsible for other similar robberies in Claremont and Chino Hills.

"Upland P.D. personnel located the suspect vehicle in the 500 block of W. Diamond Court," the report continued. "Around the same time, Sheriff's Department deputies located multiple suspects in Ontario who were allegedly involved in the aforementioned robberies, including three that were allegedly involved in Upland’s attempted robbery. Upland P.D. executed a search warrant at an apartment in Upland, where a suspect was taken into custody."

Authorities arrested 36-year-old Jonathan Williamson, 29-year-old Dalon La Flora, 30-year-old Gerald Kay, and 30-year-old Jahaad Crawford in connection with the attack. Three of the four men have criminal backgrounds, according to the report.

No one inside the store was seriously injured during the attack, and police continue to seek the whereabouts of the fifth suspect.

Upland Police Chief Darren Goodman tweeted about the business owner's bravery on Friday and wrote, "Five thugs tried to rob a jewelry store near 300 S. Mountain Ave. Their attack was thwarted by the business owner who brandished a gun. They [sic] thugs ran out of the business to a waiting car. Thanks to @UplandPD & @sbcountysheriff, 4 of the 5 thugs have been arrested."

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