An alleged variation of an attempted "smash and grab" has California authorities searching for suspects. Police in Santa Cruz, California say that two men used sledgehammers while trying to break the glass cases holding watches at a jewelry store Friday. Police further assert that a third man, who entered the store with the two sledgehammer wielding men, used pepper spray to assault a female worker at the jewelry store.

Emergency responders reportedly treated the woman at the store. Police claim that the three young men fled the establishment empty handed after the alleged attempted theft Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, Santa Cruz Police reportedly fielded reports of an Audi driving recklessly in downtown Santa Cruz.

Authorities say that an Audi was found abandoned roughly an hour and a half after the alleged attempted robbery. A police spokesperson says that the Audi displayed dealer plates from an outfit in Oakland. The car dealership had not reported the car stolen, but says that the vehicle was taken from the auto-dealership lot.

Officials reportedly processed the Audi for potential evidence to link the car to the alleged smash-and-grab attempt in Santa Cruz, and for potential evidence to link the car dealership's car to someone to blame for the Santa Cruz attempted robbery. It is not clear from the media what police may have found in the car. store Santa Cruz officials plan to return the Audi to the Oakland dealership.

Authorities have not made any arrests in the recent incident. But police say that the allegations are similar to recent smash-and-grab-type robberies in the Bay Area, including locations in Campbell, San Carlos, Corte Madera and Danville.

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, "Men with sledgehammers attempt to rob Santa Cruz jewelry store," Stephen Baxter, Nov. 16, 2012