Smash and grab robbery at Tapper's Jewelry triggers scare at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi

Posted: 5:43 PM, Aug 20, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-22 13:48:47-04

A smash and grab robbery prompts chaos and confusion at 12 Oaks Mall in Novi, when investigators say shoppers mistook the sound of breaking glass for gunshots.

Police from Novi and neighboring departments were at the mall, and secured the exits.

Sources are telling 7 Action News that there was a smash and grab robbery at the Tapper's jewelry store.

"The actual sound of the hammer hitting the glass inside the jewelry store sometimes it's a loud bang it might sound like a gun shot," said Sgt. Brian Woloski with the Novi Police Department.

The suspects used a hammer to break the glass at the store and made off with an unknown amount of items. Social media accounts indicate the sound of the breaking glass sounded like gunshots. 

Video on Twitter shows the chaos following the incident. 

Once again, it is important to note police are saying this was a smash and grab robbery and no gunshots were fired.

Novi investigators say the social media accounts of the incident may have also continued to stir the panic.

"I just think the public is at a heightened level regarding certain incidents that are occurring through our country, maybe people are scared, they believe what they hear or elaborate or maybe a small rumor," said Woloski.

The mall has released the following statement about the situation:

We can confirm there was an attempted smash and grab robbery at Twelve Oaks Mall. Police confirmed that there were no shots fired at any time. The sound of breaking glass was mistaken for gunfire. We take this incident very seriously and are fully cooperating with police. The safety and security of our shoppers and diners is our first priority. Out of an abundance of caution, we are increasing security patrols. For more information on the incident, please contact Novi police as this remains an active investigation.

Sources say police are looking for three African American men who may be driving a gold Chrysler 200.

The suspects are believed to be part of a known crime ring in southeast Michigan.

Novi police say the same suspects may have cased a jewelry store in Grosse Pointe just days ago.