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Police in El Cajon are searching for a man accused of beating a jewelry store owner with the blunt end of a hatchet and stealing a gun on Wednesday afternoon (January 22).

Around 3:30 p.m., the man was reportedly in Hamlin Jewelers on the 2200 block of Fletcher Parkway, attempting to make a purchase with a credit card. When the card was declined, the man became angry and produced a hatchet, using it to strike the unidentified shop owner several times in the head.

According to a report provided by police Lt. Walt Miller, the victim fell behind a display counter and reached for a small-caliber handgun with which to defend himself. A second struggle ensued, during which the perpetrator was able to wrestle the gun away from the victim and flee on foot.

Aside from the handgun, nothing else appears to have been stolen in the incident, though it appears the perp may have been using a stolen credit card to attempt the purchase.

He is described as a thin white or Hispanic in his 20s with a slight beard and was last seen getting into a tan Toyota 4-Runner with a partial license-plate number that possibly reads 4XU245.

The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries and was reported to be in good condition as of Wednesday evening.

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