OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Questions are being raised after Oakland police officers observed robbery suspects get into a getaway car last Monday night but did not pursue them.

The group reportedly broke into a jewelry store on Oakland’s Piedmont Avenue and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. Owner of the Happy Heart jewelry store, George Lee, and his business partner Irene Auyoung have multiple cameras inside the shop.

The alarm went off as a person walked into the store with what appeared to be a gun drawn. “We have music on 24 hours a day. They heard the song, then they pulled out a gun. A gun, aiming all over to see if anyone was over there,” said Irene Auyoung, Happy Heart part-owner.

Once the burglars realized no one is inside the shop, they smashed the glass showcases. The owner said about $100,000 worth of Jade collectible items were stolen.

“One of the men used a crowbar to break four of our showcases,” said Auyoung.

Oakland police responded around 11:30 p.m. Officers saw four people jump into a car driving off northbound on Piedmont Avenue but did not follow. The Oakland Police Department has a pursuit policy that states officers can only initiate a pursuit for violent crimes or crimes involving the use of a firearm.

The Oakland Police Department issued the following statement to KRON4:

“Per Oakland Police Department (OPD) Pursuit Policy, vehicle pursuits may only be initiated when there is reasonable suspicion to believe the involved individual(s) committed a violent forcible crime and/or a crime involving the use of a firearm, or if there is probable cause that the involved individual(s) is in possession of a firearm. It appears that the responding officers determined they had no authorization to pursue the individual(s), per OPD policy.” 

It has been a week and still no arrests have been made, leaving Lee and his business partner nervous. “We still feel really scared and sad, but life has to go on. We still doing business,” said Auyoung.

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This is the first time in 26 years something like this has happened to them and they said the city should do more to better protect business owners.

“I hope the city and police can do something about it. Maybe more patrols so we can do business better and feel more safe,” said Auyoung.

San Francisco has a similar pursuit policy as the City of Oakland. This case is still actively being investigated by OPD as they continue to try and identify the people involved.