What unspoken message are you sending?
An organized robbery crew targeted a jewelry store in Virginia. The thieves used an adjacent business that was not occupied to gain entry into the store and they busted through the drywall to gain entry. Once inside they successfully disabled the alarm system which allowed them time to cut into the safe without any fear of discovery. The thieves stole approximately $500,000 worth of inventory and the business is on the bubble of collapsing.
- The jewelers were planning a sale and had advertised
- ***Some jewelry was left out, and not secured in a safe or vault
- The rear door used a traditional door rather than a commercial door without any external knobs or handles
- The criminals used an unoccupied business next door as entry point
- Lesser valued silver jewelry was bypassed and not taken
- Thieves disabled the alarm meaning that there more than likely was no “line security” to trigger an activation
- They used power tools to cut into the safe
- Once the safes were breached, the thieves used fire extinguisher to cover tracks similar to what was done in a previous heist in Georgia. The powder in a fire extinguisher is exceptionally fine and makes retrieving fingerprints or other physical evidence almost impossible.
(All pics are from the original news story)
The reason we stress that you put all of your jewelry up regardless of its value is that it speaks to your overall approach to your business security. It’s an intangible that speaks volumes. The “sheet method basically tells low level criminals that something of value is hidden underneath. What it tells professional jewelry criminals is that the jeweler does not take their security seriously. We understand that it is an overall “cost” to invest in additional safes and security infrastructure. Your security infrastructure is a need, not a “want”. You purchase diamonds, gold and gems to maintain your inventory. It is a primary need in order to have a jewelry business. What is just as important is how you safeguard your wares. A bit like buying a house but not hooking up the utilities. How you invest in your security infrastructure will determine the likelihood of being targeted by criminals. Understand that the presence of the security “sheet” method or simply leaving lesser valued jewelry out will inspire low levels crooks to severely damage the store as they bust in looking to make a quick score. The damage caused to the business may far out way the cost of an additional safe and security measures and quite possibly the damage will eat your deductible. However thats not where the real risk lies as the Virginia jeweler found out. It is the catastrophic loss that this method eventually leads to. The best advice that I can give is to look at it from a professional criminals point of view. It’s their job, it’s their profession and its what they do. They take their profession just as seriously as you do as a professional jeweler.
Given two jewelry stores, both have roughly the same inventory.
Jewelry Store 1.
- Every piece of precious metal and gems are put up and secured in a safe or vault. The showcases are clearly empty.
- Has a visible security monitor visible from the outside.
- Leaves enough lights on so that the interior of the store can be seen by passers by and the police
- External doors are commercial grade steel doors without handles.
- UL listed Alarm company signage on windows and rear doors
Jewelry store 2
- Lesser valued jewelry pieces are left in a showcase and covered with a “Sheet”
- All lights are turned off and the store is completely dark
- No monitor visible
- Back door is traditional door with handles and knobs
- Alarm company is not UL listed
The “Unspoken” message is that jewelry store 2 who leaves part of it’s inventory out more than likely does not also invest in it’s critical infrastructure. Meaning that they will more than likely NOT have a redundant alarm system and effective physical security measures. The owner of the store can not be bothered because it’s a tedious task or the capital outlay to purchase a safe was deemed to high.
Which would you choose?
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