Would-be Robbers Leave Empty-handed

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SCRANTON -- Four people who barged into a jewelry store in Scranton Monday evening left empty-handed, police said.

Police in Scranton are looking for a group of would-be robbers who tried to hold up a jewelry store during one of the busiest shopping days.

Two clerks were able to scare the group away Monday evening before anything was stolen but they were caught on camera.

It was around 5 p.m. on Monday. Employees at JB Jewelers say it was the first time all day that the store was empty of Christmas shoppers.

As seen on the store's security cameras, one customer was waiting, for whom the clerks didn't know, until two masked men barged in through the back door holding guns and spraying pepper spray.

The store's owner and an employee then sprang into action.

"Whitney wasn't taking anything. She turned around and ran and said ‘call 91, get the gun!’ I guess they thought we were going to cooperate and that's not what happened,” said Gina Baldassari.

Baldassari works at the store on Moosic Street in Scranton that her brother owns. She says they've never had the experience they had Monday night but they always have a gun in the store just in case.

That's what her brother, Joby, used to scare off the would-be robbers and their lookout. The men’s faces were covered but the employees say they got a good look at the woman who they say was in the store several times that day, apparently, casing the place.

"Right before it happened we were joking about it. We were joking that this girl looked pretty suspicious, so it was ironic, I guess,” said Joby Baldassari.

Police have not identified the four people caught in the surveillance pictures but they did find some evidence the group left behind.

"We're definitely on high alert now. I have the button on me. I don't know it's hard to say, because you think you're going to act a certain way in a situation and then it happens and your brain is scrambled,” Gina said.

Though they may have felt scrambled, in just a matter of seconds, the quick-thinking employees prevented something that could have been very bad. The men got away empty-handed.