Jimmy Smith feels fortunate that being robbed at gunpoint in February did not result in far more dire consequences.
Talking for the first time publicly about the incident, Smith said his family was followed from the airport after a flight to Los Angeles. Upon arriving at the hotel, Smith was surrounded in the parking lot by three assailants carrying guns.
"Terrifying. I mean, just with your family, you feel helpless," Smith said. "Just some cowards running up on you with three guns. You don't know if you're going to lose your life in that moment. Your kids are right there in the car.
"At that moment, jewelry didn't matter, and none of that matters. Just give them what they want, so they can go. After it happens, you kind of have PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder]. Going into a store, or just being around anybody in a mask and a hood on, it really kind of just makes my heart thump to this day."
Smith said the thieves have not been apprehended by the police.
"You're not going to catch those guys," Smith said. "This is happening left and right in California.
"We got off the airplane, rented a car, went to the store to get some juice, and they followed us to an In-N-Out, then followed us to Jack-In-The-Box, then followed us [to the hotel] and waited for me to check in. I brought the car back around, talked to my girl inside the car for like two minutes, hopped out of the car, and I saw two dudes with their mask on, and then they just kind of looked at me and kind of tracked my footsteps. The scary part was another guy ran up on my girl and put a gun to her belly, and she's pregnant. So, it was terrifying."
Smith said he had an intuitive sense that something bad was about to occur before the robbery. The incident has made him more cautious when he's in public.
"You know, when something bad happens you get this eerie feeling?" Smith said. "I kind of had an eerie feeling, and I didn't really listen to it. I hopped out the car and just saw dudes coming at me with guns, and they surrounded me. All you could think of is, ' I want to live. I want to get out of here.'
"So, terrifying situation. Glad we lived. [I'll] definitely take better precautions. I mean it's hard to take precautions when you're driving to a hotel with your family, but it's just being aware of the situation."