Sonoma jewelry store hit by armed robbery

Sonoma police officers compare notes on the scene of an armed robbery, reported on Thursday afternoon, March 1, at Studio Jewelry in Sonoma. (Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune)

Sonoma Sheriff’s detectives are continuing to look for two suspects who robbed an East Napa Street jewelry store last Thursday.

Sonoma Police responded to a late afternoon report of an armed robbery in progress on Thursday, March 1, in which a female employee was forced to lay down on the floor in a back room while the perpetrators raided the counters.

The report was received at approximately 4:10 p.m., and police cars converged with sirens sounding on Studio Collections Jewelry, at 126 E. Napa St. By the time they arrived, the perpetrators had fled the scene. According to a Sheriff's Office report, an employee was in the back room and told two men who entered that she’d be right with them.

"But the men walked past the counter to the back room and engaged her. They grabbed her, brandished a handgun and forced her to the floor where she was handcuffed," said department spokesperson Sgt. Spencer Crum.

One suspect went through the display cases and stole an undetermined amount of jewelry while the second man stayed with the victim.

The two men then fled through a rear door east through a parking lot, Crum said.

Following the arrival of the police, the store closed for the day as investigators consulted the store’s security video for a description of the two men.

The store’s owner, Bess Nathan Rice, was not present at the time, but described the employee as understandably upset. She declined to say the value of the jewelry stolen.

Upon reviewing the video, the suspects were described as Hispanic males in their 20s or 30s, though a clothing description is not available at this time.

Crum urged any witnesses to “anything suspicious” to contact the Sonoma Police Department at 996-3602.