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Arrest Made in Jewelry Store Hatchet Attack and Robbery Attempt

Surveillance photo of the suspect. Credit: El Cajon PD
Surveillance photo of the suspect. Credit: El Cajon PD

An elderly El Cajon jewelry store owner was pummeled with the blunt end of a hatchet during a robbery attempt, and the suspect was arrested in Ocean Beach, police said Saturday.

Travis Scott Kelley, 24, of San Diego, attempted to buy merchandise from the 75-year-old owner of Hamlin Jewelers, 2234 Fletcher Parkway just before 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to details of the incident released by police today.

Kelley's credit card was denied during the incident, and Kelley became enraged. He pulled out a hatchet and beat the shopkeeper with the hammer end of the hatchet, then stole a small caliber handgun the business owner had pulled in self-defense, according to El Cajon police Lt. Walt Miller.

Kelley allegedly ran from the store and jumped into a waiting Toyota 4Runner, driven by an alleged accomplice, Ali Armeen Toombs, 21, of La Mesa, police said.

Arriving police found the wounded shopkeeper, and his handgun appeared to have been the only item stolen during the crime, Miller said.

El Cajon police Lt. Frank La Haye said the victim's injuries were more severe than originally thought and he was hospitalized with stable life signs.

On Thursday, detectives stopped the 4Runner based on witness statements and a partial license plate number and arrested Toombs for suspicion of robbery and conspiracy to commit a felony, La Haye said.

Detectives identified Kelley as the suspected hatchet-wielding assailant and with the help of the San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force, he was arrested on Friday in Ocean Beach. He was held for suspicion of attempted murder, robbery, burglary, elder abuse and various other potential charges, according to La Haye and jail records.

-City News Service

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