( 4UMF NEWS ) Robbers Send Mall Shoppers Running For Their Lives:
A robbery sent holiday shoppers at a California mall bolting for safety as they feared another mass shooting, according to reports.
Frightened shoppers said they heard what they thought was a hail of gunfire at around 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Galleria of Tyler in Riverside, 15 miles from where the San Bernardino terrorist attack killed 14 people.
A video of the heist shows one of the three suspects smashing a display case at a Ben Bridge Jeweler store with hammers and axes as at least two witnesses fled.
The sound of robbers breaking glass was apparently mistaken for gunfire, Riverside police said in a statement late Sunday.
“The first thing that went through my mind was, ‘Oh, God, we’re under terrorist attack,’” Erica Muschara told the Los Angeles Times.
No one was hurt during the robbery or the chaotic stampede that followed as people scrambled to get out of harm’s way in the wake of last week’s shooting, which was attributed to the Islamic State.
“Everyone was running for cover and thought there was gunfire when the glass was being shattered,” Twitter user @Skylarquiggs wrote while hiding inside a store’s storage room.
“I was just trying to do some Christmas shopping, man.”
A helicopter hovering above the mall showed scores of police cruisers parked outside and through a glass roof, several police officers walking through the mall’s corridors.
The three suspects managed to escape during the bedlam and remain on the lam. A vehicle tied to the robbery was discovered by police near the mall.
Several San Bernardo police officers went to Riverside at the department’s request and to malls and theaters in San Bernardino as a precaution.
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