Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting ... to Stop Jewelry Store Robbery

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Their hands were fast as lightning . . .

They would be the three martial artists who helped an agitated owner of a jewelry store foil an attempted armed robbery in Long Beach's Cambodia Town.

Thanks to the Good Samaritaninjas, one of three baddies is in custody.

Just before noon Monday, three men came into Vi Mean Chey Jewelry, 200 E. Willard St., near the 1200 block of Anaheim Street, saying they wanted to buy gold chains. But one man pulled out a gun and hopped over the counter.

Owner Chhom Choy, who is a grandfather, began fighting off the intruder and a shot was fired in the scuffle. The gunman then tried to run out of the back of the shop, but there was no exit.

Martial arts masters Bunsong Seng and Sangva Chan Mam and their student Seiha Hak just happened to be in an adjacent store, having flown in from New York for the 25th anniversary of Khmer kickboxing legend Oumry Ban's LBC studio.

The trio heard the commotion in the jewelry store and rushed over. By then, two of the would-be robbers were getting into a car, possibly a Ford Thunderbird, and driving off. But Hak managed to help Choy and other family members subdue the gunman, who possibly suffered a broken arm in the struggle.


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Once Seng, Mam and their mad skills joined the party, the suspect was not going anywhere until police arrived.

The arrestee, who was not identified, was taken to a local hospital, as was Choy, whose hand was injured either by fighting or getting grazed by the round that was fired. No one suffered life-threatening wounds.

The jewelry store's surveillance video should help police investigators, but the cop shop is also reaching out to the public for any information that can lead to the arrest of the outstanding baddies. Call the Long Beach Police Department robbery detail at 562.570.7464 if you can help.

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8 comments
Bill T.
Bill T.

My thought too. Very happy Mr. Choy (I'm assuming this follows European custom and family name is second) was not serioulsy injured, it could have been much uglier.

Bill T.
Bill T.

I've read your comments and you seem, to me, to be realtively aware so I was a bit surprised to realize that I had misunderstood your first comment. I guess a lot of folks don't realize that California does have strong self-defense laws, but if you exercise your righte you'd better be ready to defend your actions, and rightly so. Your response is adult and well played, supporting my impression of you as a stand-up sort of person.

BetaRayBill
BetaRayBill

Great story and good point, thanks. 

Esak
Esak

I am glad there is not life threatening. We needs to help each other to watch for the bad guys.

Jack Grimshaw
Jack Grimshaw

The Monarch Jewelers civilian employee who shot dead two black, armed, would-be robbers in June, 2011, faced the same police inquiries as a police officer would in that kind of scenario - did he legitimately fear for his safety or that of other people; was the shooting justified? No charges have been filed against the employee. No other gun-wielding lowlifes have attempted to rob the store since. Moral of the story - live by the gun, die by the bullet. And the cops will give the self-defense shooter an "attaboy." Case over ...

BetaRayBill
BetaRayBill

Without a legitimate Self-Defense law in California, what do you think would be the end result of that? 

Jack Grimshaw
Jack Grimshaw

Gunman got off easy - try that shit in Capo Beach and you don't get your ass kicked, you get it shot ...

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