Jewelry store owner roughed up in robbery

July 1, 2008 8:39:11 PM PDT
A couple of men who robbed and pistol-whipped a southwest Houston jewelry store owner are on the run. They got away with hundreds of thousands of dollars of merchandise.

While being robbed and pistol whipped might make some think about a new line of work, the owner of a Galleria area store learned the risks of the jewelry business as a little boy.

You could say selling jewelry is in Paul Nacol's blood. His grandfather opened the first store in 1887. And over the years the desire to carry on the family name has been put to the test.

"My mom was killed in an armed robbery in the 70's," he told us. "They left my father for dead in a robbery and I decided that the thing to do is to fight back best I can."

And Monday morning Nacol did. His face bears the bruises and his store wall the blood. Minutes before 11am Monday, two men walked into Nacol and Company and one showed a pistol.

"He told me this is a robbery," Nacol said. "I grabbed the gun and we are rolling around on the floor for several minutes."

As they fought for control of the suspect's pistol, the owner's friend walked into the room as the suspect pulled the gun from Nacol.

"And he was able to get the force with the roll and pull my hands off the gun and then he knocked him unconscious and then he came back to me and pistol whipped me a little bit more," Nacol told us.

Bleeding profusely he and his manager were handcuffed. The robbers started shattering glass cases.

"I asked him to stop breaking the glass and use a key because all he is going to do is cut himself and ruin our cases," Nacol described.

The thieves complied using keys to open and then empty merchandise cases. And then security video shows both men walk out with bags of jewelry valued between $200,000 to 400,000.

One of the suspects was wearing an orange traffic vest.

If Nacol seems unfazed by his brush with death it's because he learned at a young age that selling jewelry at some point or another involves guns.

"The first time I had a gun pointed to my head is when we were robbed at my parents store when I was six years old," he recalled.

What the surveillance video does not show is that Nacol was able to get out of his handcuffs, grab a shot gun and fire a shot at the getaway vehicle.

So police are looking for a late model minivan with some buckshot in the rear. If you have any information about the robbery that leads to the arrest, conviction and recovery of the stolen jewelry, it could earn you $25,000. Just call Crime Stoppers 713-222-TIPS.

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