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'Smash and grab' robbery sparks California mall lockdown

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Dozens of police locked down a shopping mall in Southern California after robbers smashed the counters of a jewelry store, setting off panic as people confused the sound of breaking glass with gunfire.

Police in Riverside said the robbery inside the Galleria at Tyler mall triggered a large police response Sunday evening because of initial reports of a shooting.

Police said shoppers had to stay put for about an hour as officers investigated. After they determined the suspects had fled the mall, officers went store to store to ensure that no one inside got hurt and let everybody go.

Witnesses told the Riverside Press-Enterprise ( ) they saw people running and screaming as dozens of officers stormed into the mall.

Police had no information on the three male suspects.

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