ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Police say 11 people were injured fleeing when jewelry store thieves set off firecrackers in a Florida mall to simulate gunshots.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office says deputies arrived quickly at the Florida Mall near Orlando on Sunday evening after gunfire was reported. They quickly determined no shots were fired, but were instead firecrackers used as a distraction in a jewelry store theft.
Five of the injured were taken to the hospital. Further details were not immediately available.
A similar theft happened on New Year’s Eve at the Sawgrass Mills mall in South Florida. In that case, a thief was trying on an expensive watch when an accomplice outside the store set off firecrackers. When the store clerk ran into a back room, the thieves fled with the watch.