The bandits knew exactly what they wanted.

And it was in a bulletproof showcase at the front of the store.

In that case, more than $90,000 worth of "bling" glittered on display: Breitling watches with 25-carat diamond bezels, heavy "Miami Cuban" gold chains, dogtags encrusted with hundreds of glittering stones.

The time: just after 11 Sunday morning, when the Diamond Depot jewelry store at Franklin Mills mall had just opened. Ron Alia, the store's owner, was showing a customer a ring.

Surveillance cameras captured what happened next.

Two masked men in dark hooded sweatshirts ran up to the showcase. One held a sledgehammer, the other a large red checkered bag.

Then came a loud bang.

"It was crazy," Alia said. "I turned around and all I saw were the two heads, with ski masks on, and they're banging into the case with a sledgehammer."

Alia stepped toward the pair. The men glowered. Alia stepped back.

Alia reached for a hidden alarm and yelled to a worker at the back of the store to hit another panic button. In less than three minutes, the robbers were gone.

They took the sledgehammer with them. A mall security guard, summoned by the panic button, gave chase.

The men dashed into a utility hallway leading to the parking lot. The guard was gaining ground. Inside the hallway, the men turned around and issued a threat. The guard backed down.

The men sprinted to a silver Dodge Caravan minivan and sped away.

Yesterday, Alia was coming to grips with the heist.

"I was just shocked," he said. "I couldn't sleep last night."

Alia - who counts Queen Latifah, Jamie Foxx, and Tony "Paulie Walnuts" Sirico as customers, and calls himself the "King of Bling" - said he designed many of the stolen pieces himself.

One of the stolen watches was embedded with 600 diamonds, he said.

He said smash-and-grab robbers hit another branch of Diamond Depot at the mall just before Christmas.

"It was a similar job," he said. "They took all the heavy stuff. We don't keep the heavy stuff there anymore."

He said Sunday's bandits were particular.

"There were some cheap watches in there, too," Alia said. "They didn't take those, of course."

Alia said he would add put more security measures in place.

"We're going to have panic buttons on key chains. We're also going to hire full-time security," Alia said.

And he's no longer counting on bulletproof glass.

"I'm going to use that plastic glass, the same they use in check-cashing places," Alia said. "No matter what happens, you can't break it."