2 Arrested in $500,000 S.F. jewelry-store heist

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Two men were arrested on suspicion of breaking into a jewelry store in San Francisco’s Union Square, smashing display cases with a hammer and stealing more than $500,000 worth of gold chains and bracelets, police said Friday.

Andreaus Trevell Garrett, 24, and Carlnell McKinley Pitts, 27, both of San Francisco, were nabbed around noon Tuesday after a patrol officer recognized the pair from surveillance video of the robbery at Grace Jewelry on the 100 block of O’Farrell Street, officials said.

Peng Zhou, owner of Grace Jewelry, applauded the police for quickly locating and arresting the suspects.

“We are very, very impressed,” Zhou said Friday.

Garrett and Pitts were arrested on suspicion of second-degree burglary, grand theft, possession of stolen property and conspiracy. Garrett was also booked on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded firearm.

Despite the good news, Zhou said police were able to retrieve only about 10 percent of the goods stolen from his store.

He suspected there may have been more people involved in the robbery and distribution of the stolen goods. He said authorities are on the lookout for other potential suspects or leads to a possible location of the rest of the missing jewelry.

The heist occurred at 3:33 a.m. on June 23. At least one of the crooks was caught on security cameras using bolt cutters to destroy the lock and break through the back door of the jewelry store.

The footage showed the thief entering the store with a bag and a hammer and systematically going from counter to counter smashing the glass cases and scooping up the jewelry.

Police ask anyone with information regarding the stolen jewelry to call the department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD.

Kevin Schultz is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: kschultz@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @kevinedschultz

A link to the YouTube footage.