Lexington police say a robbery attempt Tuesday at The Castle Jewelry and Pawn store was thwarted by its employees.
Lexington police Lt. Clay Combs said three men, all wearing hoodies, entered the store on West New Circle Road about 3 p.m., and one of the men pulled out a sledgehammer from underneath his hoodie. The man broke a jewelry case filled with Rolex watches and tried to leave, Combs said.
Ashley Lockridge, an employee at the store, said the men were suspicious because of their clothing. Tuesday's temperature hovered near 90 degrees.
"Our general manager and the owner were immediately paying attention," Lockridge said.
The general manager took a gun out of his pocket and ordered the men onto the ground, Lockridge said. The men complied.
Police arrived within minutes and arrested the men.
Lockridge said she was paranoid.
"You have to be, especially because of what happened to Shelia Bayes," Lockridge said.
In March, Shelia Bayes Fine Jewelers in The Shops at Lexington Center, next to Rupp Arena, was robbed in a similar, rather brazen, manner.
In that robbery, two men entered the store, also in broad daylight. Neither man said a word to the sales associates. They went straight to the Rolex case, broke it, and scooped up eight Rolex watches. Two employees who were on the Shelia Bayes sales floor ran to an office and locked themselves inside with a third employee. They pressed an alarm and called 911.
The men who robbed the store fled in a minivan.
Combs said police don't know whether Tuesday's attempted robbery was related to the one in March. He said they a possible connection will be part of their investigation.
Combs said the men would probably be charged with first-degree robbery.