New York, NY—Over the course of 10 days, five retail jewelers in the Lone Star State were hit with smash-and-grab robberies, reports the Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA). All occurred between January 31 and February 9, 2020, and all were carried out by suspects wearing hats and hoodies to conceal their identities. The images shown left and below are from crimes occurring on February 9, 2020.
JSA says the events occurred as follows:
January 31 in San Antonio, TX: four suspects, 3:00 p.m., reportedly driving a black Dodge Charger.
February 4 in Texas City, TX: at 2:29 p.m.; three black male suspects with small hammer. Suspects in store less than two minutes. Suspect #1: late 20s to early30s; 6’0”. Suspect #2: mid 20s, 5’8”. Suspect #3: Late 20s to early 30s, 5’10”. All three wearing white tennis shoes.
February 6, San Antonio, TX: 4:30 p.m.,three suspects with sledgehammer. Reportedly left in a gray, four-door sedan. If you have information, contact North Property Crimes of the San Antonio Police Department at (210) 207-7601.
February 9, Sugarland, TX: 5:00 p.m.,two black male suspects with sledgehammer. Suspect #1: mid-20s, 5’11”. Dark tennis shoes. Suspect #2: mid-20s, 5’10” with light tennis shoes.
February 9, Houston, TX: 4:00 p.m., three black male suspects, two of whom entered store and one remained at the front entrance, used hammer on two showcases. Suspect #1: mid-20s, 5’10”. Suspect #2: mid-20s, 5’9”. Suspect #3, mid-20s, 5’10”, with white tennis shoes, below:
Anyone with information is asked to please contact JSA at (212) 687-0328 or email@example.com.
Separately, JSA recommends the following courses of action in a smash-and-grab robbery:
1. Do not resist in a smash and grab robbery. In addition to sledgehammers and other dangerous tools, the suspects may be armed with guns.
2. 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.
3. Having an audible glass breakage alarm on your showcases can scare smash and grab robbers away, who are trying to remain in a target store for less than a minute.
4. Having buzzers on the door can help to keep out potential robbers.
5. Hiring armed, off-duty police officers in the store is a deterrent to smash and grab robbers.
6. Spreading high-end watch and loose diamond merchandise among several showcases, and not concentrated in one showcase, can reduce the amount of the loss in a smash and grab robbery.
7. Surveillance photos from eye-level cameras inside and outside the store provide excellent evidence for police. Ceiling cameras too often capture useless photos of the tops of heads or hats.
8. 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.
9. Sharing information and photos among local jewelers and police, and with JSA, regarding casings and suspects can help prevent crime and assist with investigations.