Jewelry Crime Across Country Heats Up With Warm Weather

June 29, 2016 (0 comments)
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New York, NY—Ah, summer! Just like everyone else, warmer weather inspires thieves and thugs to get out and get active. The Jewelers’ Security Alliance last week released a lengthy list of recent crimes against jewelry stores taking place from the end of May through June. Here are the incidents and surveillance images of the suspects in each.

Troy, MI: Smash and grab robbers take high-end watches, June 21, 2016. At 8:15 p.m. two black male suspects, one of whom is pictured left, entered a jewelry store. One of the suspects pulled out a small hammer and smashed open a wall display case. The suspects, who were in the store for 27 seconds, placed watches in a bag and in their pockets and left the store. It has been reported that the suspects may be driving a green Ford Expedition.

Scappoose, OR: Suspect runs with diamond wedding set, June 21, 2016. The Hispanic male suspect pictured below was looking at diamond wedding sets in a jewelry store. When the suspect had selected a set, and he and the sales associate walked to the register, the suspect ran from the store with the wedding set. The suspect is described as 5’7”, 180 lbs., 20-30 years old, and with tattoos on his fingers and forearm:

New York, NY: Suspect runs with gold chain, June 11, 2016. The suspect pictured below grabbed a $15,000 gold chain and ran from a store in the Canal Street area of lower Manhattan.  If you have information, contact Detective Chris Rong of the NYPD at 212-334-0742.

New York, NY: Suspect takes ring from display window, June 12, 2016. The black male suspect pictured below removed a ring from a display window at a jewelry store in the Columbus Circle midtown area of Manhattan. If you have information, contact Detective Anthony Guerriero of the NYPD at 212-767-8415.

San Franciso, CA: Suspects run with pre-owned high end watch, May 23, 2016. At 1:22 p.m. the two male Hispanic suspects pictured below entered a retail jewelry store and asked to see a pre-owned, high end watch. The two suspects had visited the store 10 minutes earlier. The male suspect in the white shirt placed the watch on his wrist and continued to have a conversation with the sales associate. The suspects then ran out into the mall and exited onto the street. If you have information contact Detective Tyler Ropelato at tyler.ropelato@sfgov.org.

Fort Worth, TX: Grab and run with gold chain. May 23, 2016. The black male suspect pictured below asked to see gold chains in a retail jewelry store. During the presentation the suspect walked in and out of the store several times to make phone calls. When he returned, the suspect placed a chain on himself and began taking pictures of himself wearing the chain. The suspect then abruptly left the store with the item. The suspect is described as 19-22-years-old, 5’9” to 6’, thin build, and with tattoos on both cheeks (tear drops on one and the state of Texas with “TX” inside the tattoo on the other one). If you have information contact the Fort Worth Police Department at 817-335-4222.

Lexington, KY: Suspect uses key left in jewelry showcase, June 5, 2016. At 3:15 p.m. the male suspect pictured below, after lingering in the store, took a key that was left in one of the jewelry cases, and then exited the store. A few minutes later he returned with a woman, pictured below. The woman blocked the view of the store employees, while the man tried the key on jewelry cases, eventually removing a tray of rings that he put into a shopping bag. The male did not leave the store but stayed for another 15 minutes while attempting to use the key to open other showcases.  The male suspect and the female then left the store.

Dallas/Fort Worth TX area: Suspect reported to be using stolen credit card numbers for online purchases, April/May 2016. The white male suspect pictured below is reported to have used stolen credit card numbers to make online purchases of jewelry and watch merchandise that he then picks up in retail chain locations. The suspect is described as 27-years-old, 5’10”, and 170 lbs. with dark hair.

The increase in crime in warmer weather is a good time to review with staff JSA’s advice to jewelers for what to do in the event of a robbery:

  1. Do not resist in a robbery.
  2. Surveillance photos from eye-level cameras inside and outside the store provide excellent evidence for police.
  3. Having buzzers on the door can help to keep out potential robbers.
  4. Keeping a log book of suspicious incidents, and putting aside and saving surveillance video of suspicious incidents, can be a great help in subsequent investigations.
  5. Sharing information and photos among jewelers and police, and with JSA, regarding casings and suspects can help prevent crime and assist with investigations.
  6. Showcases with burglary-resistant, laminated glass and special frames can withstand many blows with a hammer and can prevent or reduce large losses. JSA has not seen robbers take retaliatory action when laminated glass is used and robbers are unable to enter a showcase or are able to take only a small amount of merchandise from a small hole. Furthermore, robbers frequently cut themselves on small holes and leave behind valuable DNA evidence from blood.
  7. Do not keep any GIA grading reports or other lab grading reports in the same place as the diamonds are kept.

Red flags to help spot a jewelry thief. Listed below are JSA’s top ten “red flags” or warning signs that a criminal is in your store, including robbers, distraction thieves and grab and run artists. None of the red flags below prove a crime is about to happen, but jewelers should be aware that the red flags below are how many of today’s jewelry criminals commonly behave. While genuine customers can also have habits like these, a jeweler should take special precautions when he or she sees the following red flags. Remember, no red flag is conclusive, but each additional red flag should raise the level of security.

  1. Is the person talking on a cell phone? Inform the person that you will be happy to serve them as soon as they finish their call.
  2. Is the person wearing sunglasses? Suggest that the person remove the sunglasses to get a better view of the beautiful merchandise.
  3. Is the person wearing a hat pulled low or a hoodie to conceal his or her identity?
  4. Is the person wearing inappropriate clothing for the season, like a wool cap when the weather is in the 80s, or a raincoat on a sunny day?
  5. Are large numbers of people entering together, for example, three or more people? Will you be able to adequately protect your merchandise with a large number of people inside your store?
  6. Is the person putting large or bulky items, including coats, on the showcase, or moving pads, mirrors or other items on the showcase in order to block the jeweler’s view?
  7. Is the person asking unusual questions, particularly about security, hours or schedules, or looking with unusual interest at your cameras or security equipment?
  8. Is the person asking to see the “most expensive” watch or jewelry item in the store?
  9. Is the person making hand signals or other gestures that appear to be communicating with other people?
  10. Is the person walking around the store with their hands in their pockets in order to avoid touching anything in the store that would leave fingerprints.

Human check:

North, South, East and _________.

©2017 Centurion Jewelry