NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) --The search is on for three armed men who used rubber mallets to perform a smash and grab at the Philadelphia Mills mall in Northeast Philadelphia.
Police say the robbery happened around 10:26 a.m. Wednesday inside the Zales jewelry store at 1777 Franklin Mills Circle.
Maria Feliciano was working at the perfume store right next door when the robbery occurred.
"It was a very scary moment. Everyone just stopped and started to run out," Maria Feliciano said.
The suspects ran away with 5-6 Vera Wang rings and 10-12 Celebration brand rings. The males then walked out of the store and exited via the red entrance.
They fled in a silver or blue hatchback, possibly a Kia or Toyota.
Police say the total value taken from the jewelry store was $100,000.
Feliciano says it took a moment before she realized what was going on.
"I stood there for a second, didn't know what to do, then I shut my gate to the store, and I just waited," Feliciano said.
Investigators tell Action News they are looking into whether Wednesday's smash and grab is linked to recent, similar crimes across the region.
For example, surveillance video revealed three masked men taking hammers to jewelry displays at Helzberg Diamonds inside the Montgomery Mall two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, for Maria Feliciano this whole ordeal was one big dose of modern-day reality.
"It's really scary. You don't know what to expect anymore. You think you're safe, but you're not," Feliciano said.
The first suspect is described as a black male with thin build. He was wearing all black clothing, with black hoody over his head.
The second suspect is a black male with a heavy set build. He was wearing a dark hoody and black pants.
And the third suspect is described as a black male with medium build. He was wearing a red hoody and black pants.
All three suspects wore black latex gloves, and were armed with hammers.
No injuries were reported.