VIDEO: Jewelry store owner rams armed robbery suspects' car, exchanges gun fire

Sandy Thalheimer, in a red cap, owner of Thalheimer's Jewelry store, talks with Naples Police Department detectives Tuesday after exchanging gunfire with suspected robbers in the store parking lot.  Thalheimer rammed a vehicle containing three suspects who then fled in a second vehicle.  Lexey Swall/Staff

Sandy Thalheimer, in a red cap, owner of Thalheimer's Jewelry store, talks with Naples Police Department detectives Tuesday after exchanging gunfire with suspected robbers in the store parking lot. Thalheimer rammed a vehicle containing three suspects who then fled in a second vehicle. Lexey Swall/Staff

Jewelry Store Robbed

Shoots fired and getaway car rammed

Owner tells first hand account

Robbery at jewelry store

Robbery at jewelry store in Naples

Robbers hit jewelry store in Naples

An alert jewelry store owner tried to thwart an armed robbery by ramming his truck into the suspects' vehicle and then exchanged gun fire with them. The suspects, however, have so far eluded law enforcement switching cars twice.

Around 2:30 p.m., two armed suspects held up a jewelery delivery man in the parking lot at Thalheimers Jewelers at 3200 U.S. 41 N. in Naples, according to the Naples Police Department.

The owner of the jewelry store, Sandy Thalheimer, was leaving the store in his truck and became suspicious when two masked men were speeding in the parking lot. Thalheimer took action, ramming the suspects' Ford sedan in the driver's side. Thalheimer and the suspects then exchanged gun fire. Witnesses reports vary from four to six shots fired.

"It is the first time I have ever had someone shoot at me and it is the first time I have ever shot back," Thalheimer was overheard telling someone on his cell phone. "If you could have seen the look on the guys' face when I rammed the guys' car."

No one was injured as a result of the shots fired.

The suspects got away though, jumping into a red SUV at the scene and then dumping it at Creech Road and getting into gray SUV. Police are searching for two men with possibly a female driver.

Police are reporting the suspects got away with three black bags of jewelry.

Fred Swetland, owner of CitySleeper, located in the shopping center across Ridge Street from the jewelry store, said he heard the gunshots.

"I heard large caliber shots ... about half dozen of them," Swetland said. "I ran out. Someone said 'Don't go over there!' I'm ex-military. Hell, I'm going over there."

"It was a big boy," he said of the gun, based on the sound of the gunshots.

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