A daylight armed robbery occurred at a Hazleton area mall on Tuesday morning.

Two black males entered Howard's Jewelers in the Laurel Mall and confronted two store employees. Both suspects reportedly had weapons. The two employees were taken to the rear of the store and handcuffed.

While the robbery was taking place, an area resident, reported to be Joseph Haluska, of Lansford, entered the mall to make a purchase. He was also taken by the suspects to the rear of the store where his hands were tied with string.

The robbers took all the diamond engagement rings from a display case. Other display cases in the store were untouched.

Haluska reportedly managed to free himself and ran to another store in the mall and reported the robbery. A clerk at that store called 9-1-1.

State police at Hazleton responded to the scene.

A spokesman for the store could not estimate the value of the missing rings stating an inventory had to be completed. The spokesman also said surveillance cameras captured the two robbers in the act. The footage was released to area television stations to be broadcast on their news programs.

A search of the area was conducted by troopers in marked and unmarked cars along with a state police helicopter, but no one was found.

The two criminals were described as being in their 20s, both wearing hoodies. They fled in a white minivan with a sliding side door, it was reported.

No one was injured in the incident.