Waterloo regional police have arrested two men from the GTA and recovered $300,000 worth of jewelry after a reported armed robbery at a store in Conestoga Mall.
Officers were called the scene around 6:40 p.m. Tuesday.
Police say three suspects armed with weapons, including an axe and a crowbar, entered the store, smashed several display cases, and stole a large quantity of jewelry.
Two suspects were later arrested and roughly $300,000 worth of jewelry was recovered.
Carlyn Ferrede witnessed the robbery. Ferrede works at a clothing store across from where it happened. She said she is still traumatized by the dramatic events that unfolded.
“I got into my car and started crying,” said Ferrede.
She wasn’t working at the time but was shopping with her sister at her store.
“I saw weapons, I saw masks and I was just like my life is in danger right now,” Ferrede said. “Hearing them smash the cases kind of thing and one of the staff was up against the wall, hands back.”
The mall was open when it happened.
Ferrede said many people panicked when they realized what was going on.
“People were definitely scared, people were definitely running for the lives,” Ferrede said.
Police believe this was a targeted incident. They are still searching for the third suspect.
“Whenever there’s an incident involving violence of course it is a concern for safety,” said Melissa Quarrie with the Waterloo Regional Police Service.
Ferrede and her sister made a run for it to their car.
“One of the robbers was like running towards us near where the car was, mask up kind of thing, and there was a security guard chasing him,” said Ferrede.
In a statement the general manager at Conestoga Mall, Karl Ditoro, confirms no one was harmed and said in a statement, in part:
“The safety of our shoppers and employees is a top priority. We take proactive safety measures to promote a safe environment. Due to the sensitive nature of safety and security we do not disclose all of our measures as this would compromise our efforts.”
“Waterloo Regional Police Service officers responded immediately to the scene. And were able to arrest one on scene and another a short time later,” said Quarrie.
Ferrede said the robbery happened at Raffi Jewellers.
CTV News reached out to the store but didn’t hear back.
An 18-year-old man from Toronto was charged with robbery with a weapon and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. A 20-year-old York man was charged with robbery with a weapon.
The incident is still under investigation.