Two men armed with at least one pistol and a hammer smashed their way into the watch cases at the Danville Costco store on Fostoria Way Friday, firing at least three shots into the air as they fled to a waiting car.
The pair, described as two black males in their late teens to mid 20s and dressed in black, escaped with at least two Rolex watches and made their way to a silver-colored Toyota Camry waiting outside the store – possibly with a white male driver behind the wheel.
“My friend and I were there and walking out just as they walked past us,” said reader Joy Poulsen. “Black hoodies, one in a ‘scream’ mask and the other had sunglasses and a mouth mask on. We looked at each other and said ‘that’s trouble’ and ran with our cart to the car left it there got in, my friend called 911 as I drove like Dukes of Hazard out of there!”
Police Chief Steve Simpkins said his officers were called to the Costco at approximately 12:17 p.m. after one of the two suspects who entered the store went to a glass case, smashed it with a hammer, and grabbed items. An employee attempted to intervene and the second suspect fired a weapon, Simpkins said. The employee retreated and the two men fled into a waiting newer silver Toyota Camry with paper license plates.
A third suspect, described by witnesses as a white or hispanic male, drove off in the Camry. While the suspects were fleeing the parking lot, they fired a second shot up into the air.
The two suspects who entered the store are described as male, 5’9” – 6’ tall, slender build. Suspect one was wearing a black hoodie, gray pants, gloves and a mask. Suspect two was wearing black hoodie, black pants, gloves and a mask.
One bystander fell while attempting to avoid the suspects and was subsequently treated for shock, according to police.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or has further information is encouraged to contact the Danville Police Department at (925) 820-2144.
Costco was immediately closed as police conducted their investigation and media descended on the scene. It reopened at 2:45 p.m.
Witnesses contacting this site described a scene of panic and confusion as crowds of shoppers hurried to escape the area as shots rang out, with at least some shoppers reporting that they fled out the back door when they heard what sounded like firecrackers in the store – and quickly realized a robbery was underway.
Readers will remember a prior smash-and-grab attempt at the very same store, with thieves attacking the watch case in much the same manner until employees tackled one of the thieves and took him into custody.