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Security guard shoots robber at Oakbrook Center mall jewelry store

Updated: June 23, 2013 9:13PM

A jewelry store security guard shot a man who smashed a display case with a sledgehammer in an attempted robbery Sunday afternoon at the Oakbrook Center mall.

Three men entered the C.D. Peacock jewelry store at 3:41 p.m. and one of them smashed a display case, Oak Brook police Chief James R. Kruger Jr. said.

An armed security guard confronted the man with the sledgehammer and shot him once in the abdomen as the other two men ran out of the store, Kruger said.

The sledgehammer was “possibly construed as a deadly weapon,” Kruger said.

Paramedics took the man to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where he underwent surgery and was in police custody, Kruger said.

About 10 customers and six employees were in the store when the robbery suspects entered, but none was injured, Kruger said.

The mall activated its emergency plan and asked all customers to stay inside stores, Kruger said. The mall was never placed on lockdown, but the jewelry store was closed as police investigated.

A Macy’s employee, who asked not to be named, said management did a good job of keeping employees and customers calm as police searched the mall with “giant guns.”

Tiana Morris was shopping at Macy’s when she saw two police officers with guns on an escalator looking for somebody.

“It was just scary. They didn’t explain anything to us,” Morris said. “We didn’t know if the guys were still here.”

The two other men in the robbery fled in a waiting black Jeep Liberty that had been stolen from an employee earlier in the day, Kruger said.

Besides the sledgehammer, no other weapons were shown, but one of the men who fled had implied that he had a weapon by making a movement toward his waistband, the chief said.

Kruger emphasized that there was no threat to the community and that mall patrons should still feel safe. He noted that there had not been any similar incidents recently at the mall.

Detectives were interviewing witnesses and looking at surveillance footage from the jewelry store and other surrounding stores, Kruger said. The jewelry store, at 172 Oakbrook Center, was taking inventory Sunday, but it did not appear that anything was stolen.

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