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Sixth Armed Robbery for Mission Viejo Jeweler

When his friend and business partner was stabbed and robbed outside Saatchi Jewelry Tuesday, it reminded Farid Saatchi of other attacks.

Editor's note: Until the end of 2011, Patch will be republishing some of the year's biggest news stories in Mission Viejo.

"I decided to move to Mission Viejo, the safest city in the world."

Those are the words of Farid Saatchi --the sixth armed robbery of his career, but his first in 10 years doing business in Orange County.

Saatchi started selling jewelry in New York. He was held up five times and shot once in the belly--and he has the scar to prove it (see photo above).

"I'm thankful to be alive after five armed robberies," he said.

But Saatchi is disgusted three men could strongarm his friend and business partner, stab him, slash his tire and speed off.

"They come, in five, ten minutes they make 100s of thousands of dollars," the store owner said. "I'd have to work another lifetime to make up for it."

On Tuesday, bandits made off with $50,000 worth of valuables, including a Rolex, diamonds and four rare coins. None of it was insured, Saatchi said.

Immediately after the robbery, Saatchi's friend returned to the store to call police. He was bleeding from stab wounds, the store owner said.

They stabbed Saatchi's friend in the left arm. The victim is OK, Saatchi said--he called from Saddleback Hospital to say he was going to be all right.

Saatchi's first instinct was to take his handgun and search the area for the robbers. But they were gone before he found them.

The friend may have been followed, Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino said.

"We believe he was followed and targeted," he said.

There was one eye-witness, Amormino said.

This crime is similar to one that happened June 17 in Tustin. During that robbery, three men smashed another man's window and stabbed him under the chin. Those men are also thought to be responsible for an earlier jewelry robbery in Irvine.

Suspect Description

Here's how police describe the suspects:

  • Three men wearing hooded sweatshirts
  • A white man in his late 20s stabbed the jewelry courier. He's about 5'6".
  • A black man in his late 20s smashed the courier's passenger window and snatched the bag of valuables. He's about 5'6".
  • Another white man was driving a silver sedan, possibly a Jaguar.
Shripathi Kamath August 17, 2011 at 11:13 PM
'the store owner said. "I'd have to work another lifetime to make up for it."' Does he not have insurance?
Peter Schelden (Editor) August 17, 2011 at 11:53 PM
Sounds like these valuables were not insured, Shri: "On Tuesday, bandits made off with $50,000 worth of valuables, including a Rolex, diamonds and four rare coins. None of it was insured, Saatchi said."
KC August 18, 2011 at 12:02 AM
I wonder if that is common for the industry?
Shripathi Kamath August 18, 2011 at 12:07 AM
oops. Thanks. Also, what KC asked below
KC August 18, 2011 at 12:15 AM
It kind of would be a scary thought to leave a piece at the store for cleaning, resizing, etc. get it stolen and then find out that you're pretty much out of luck since they don't have insurance. Did the man transporting the property have a bodyguard/security with him? I know we are a crazy safe city but if you're not walking about with a 7 foot tall, 280 pound man made out of pure muscle then you're just tempting fate. If you go to the Diamond District in NYC you will see the jewelers walking about with very large, scary men following (almost looking like they are stalking their prey) them.
Peter Schelden (Editor) August 18, 2011 at 12:30 AM
It does seem to be happening a lot in South County. Off the top of my head I can think of at least five jewelry store robberies in the last year. But the impression I get talking to the experts is that these sorts of crimes are on the rise. There was this crime earlier this year: http://missionviejo.patch.com/articles/video-mission-viejo-jewelry-robbers-caught-on-tape Monaco Jewelers in SJC was robbed earlier this year: http://sanjuancapistrano.patch.com/articles/shooting-at-monaco-jewelers And that store was also robbed a couple of years ago to the tune of $5.6M: http://articles.ocregister.com/2010-02-26/crime/24627941_1_jewelry-heists-jewelry-theft-thieves
KC August 18, 2011 at 12:57 AM
Not robbery, that's a given, but to not have insurance.
Peter Schelden (Editor) August 18, 2011 at 05:15 AM
I don't know if Farid had possession of the stolen items. They may have belonged to his friend who was wounded or someone else. Just hours after the attack I talked to Farid, and he told me he was working that out still.
Me is who February 06, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Now he knows what it feels to be ripped off! Like he does to his customers.

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