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Rancho Cucamonga jewelry store owner remains resilient after being pistol-whipped during robbery

A Rancho Cucamonga business owner said she’s grateful to be alive after a savage robbery hospitalized her for several days.

“He was ready to kill me,” said Margarita Pereda.

Security footage captured the violence erupting around 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Gemma’s Jewelers, a fixture at the Terra Vista Town Center mall for about two decades.

The gunmen rushed in, weapons drawn, as an employee and customer crouched down in fear.

One robber confronted Pereda and immediately started pistol-whipping her in the head after she set off the alarm.

“He said, ‘Hell no!’ and he came in straight with the gun very close to my face, and I defended myself,” she said. “It’s a miracle. He was ready to kill me.”

Pereda added that the beating left her with an open wound on the back of her head.

“That’s correct. I had to go to the hospital, yes. I was bleeding a lot, I was thinking I’m not going to make it because there was blood everywhere,” she said.

The robbers, who Pereda said were dressed as an Amazon delivery man and a security guard, then fled with thousands in jewelry.

“The people don’t have respect for other people no more,” said jeweler Fabian Rodriguez.

Pereda said “of course” she thinks criminals have been emboldened by weak laws, but that won’t stop her.

“I’m not gonna be afraid to close my doors. No no no no no,” she said. “I’m keeping going, sir.”

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