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LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) — For 16 years, Sue Shimochi has run a quiet jewelry store inside the Lauderhill Mall but when trouble struck on Saturday afternoon, Shimochi was ready to strike back.
Surveillance cameras rolled as a man armed with a tiny sledgehammer walked in and chaos ensued. The man smashed open a display case then, suddenly, at least four other men burst in. Shimochi grabbed a stick and started defending herself and her property. One of the thieves swung plastic bin at her. The owner kept swinging her stick and the thieves kept smashing and grabbing. Then, seconds later, it ended.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Shimochi told CBS 4’s Carey Codd.
Shimochi said the whole thing unfolded so quickly, just 20 seconds from beginning to end, that it’s difficult to process.
“I don’t know what to think,” she said.
Shimochi said this has never happened to her before and that she grabbed the stick by instinct.
“I wasn’t thinking,” she said. “I was just grabbing my stick. I just hit them and that’s the reason they didn’t took a lot.”
She thinks the stick slowed them down and prevented them from stealing even more of her jewelry. She showed us the repaired but empty display cases and said thicker glass kept one of the front cases intact.
“They tried to hit this one but I hit them with the stick,” she said. “They couldn’t do it.”
Sue said it’s a horrible feeling being attacked so violently. She hopes these guys get what’s coming to them.
“I hope this community get together, catch (them) because I don’t want these people to rob other people,” she said.
Detectives are trying to determine if the guys in the surveillance video are connected to other crimes in the area.
If you know any of the thieves involved, you are asked to call crimestoppers at 954-493-TIPS.