Eyal Kallati, a 25-year-old New York jewelry distributor, who was robbed of a briefcase containing diamond and gold jewelry in a Boca Raton parking lot, told JCK about his struggle with the armed robbers.
Kallati, who contacted JCK Thursday to give his side of the story, said the merchandise had a wholesale value of $300,000 and a retail value of close to $750,000.
He said he had just left a jewelry store in the shopping center located on 2100 block of St. Andrews Boulevard about 12:50 p.m. and saw a white Impala come up from behind him. Then he saw three or four people leave the car wearing masks armed with crowbars and other metal objects. He said he tried to escape by running to his rented Chevy cobalt car and driving away.
“I just put the merchandise in the back seat of the car and then I got in the driver’s side,” Kallati said. “Three bandits surrounded my car and smashed all of the windows as I was trying to escape. Ones of the robbers was reaching for the keys in the car and we were fighting inside the car for 5 to 8 seconds. There were punches thrown and screaming and people screaming from outside watching this.
He continued, “As this was happening a second black jeep blocks me in. Then I realized it was pointless to continue fighting the man. His partners broke in the side and back window and got into the trunk. One was basically getting into the back door. So I stopped fighting and the robber took the keys to the car and the other guy took the merchandise and they drove away.”
As the thieves were leaving, Kallati said he saw that one of the men had a gun. He had cuts and bruises from the ordeal, but did not suffer any serious injuries. He was treated at a local hospital and released. “There was glass in my face and bruises from the guy who threw punches at me in the hand and in the face.”
When told that fighting back may not have been the best thing to do in that situation, he said he was just reacting what was happening at the spur of the moment.
“I was trying to fight back and I was trying to escape,” he said. “He could have shot me or stabbed me. He was just going for the merchandise. That particular moment in time you don’t know what was going to happen.”
He said the best thing he did in the situation was get inside the car.
“Luckily I got in the car,” he said. “If I wasn’t in the car, it could have been much worse.”