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Police: One injured in St. Petersburg jewel heist

ST. PETERSBURG — A mom-and-pop jewelry store was robbed at gunpoint Friday by two men, one of whom beat the owner with a hammer, police said.

The robbery took place at Central Jewelers, 669 Central Ave., about 1:08 p.m.

The two men entered the store from the rear entrance and confronted the 42-year-old female clerk and her 67-year-old father-in-law, St. Petersburg police said.

Only one of the suspects was armed, police said, and wore a Halloween mask. The other suspect was unarmed and was not wearing a mask.

That was the suspect who police said grabbed a hammer and struck the 67-year-old owner in the head.

"There was no indication that he was resisting when he was struck by the hammer," said police spokesman Bill Proffitt.

The two suspects then escaped out the back and into an unknown vehicle with an unknown amount of cash and jewelry.

The male owner was taken to a local hospital because he needs stitches for his head wound, police said. The woman was also taken to the hospital so she could be kept under observation. The identities of both victims were withheld by police.

Police ask anyone with information about this incident to call their anonymous tip line at (727) 892-5000 or to text police at (727) 420-8911.

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Police: One injured in St. Petersburg jewel heist 10/23/09 [Last modified: Friday, October 23, 2009 3:31pm]

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