Crime

JSA Warns of Surge in Attacks on Jewelers on the Road

CrimeNov 22, 2023

JSA Warns of Surge in Attacks on Jewelers on the Road

There have been eight attacks in the last month, spanning from a jewelry store parking lot in Rhode Island to highways in California.

Stock image of police car with its lights on
Ahead of the holiday weekend, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance said jewelers and traveling jewelry salespeople need to be on alert amid a rise in off-premises attacks and be vigilant about any alerts from their alarm companies.
New York—The Jewelers’ Security Alliance issued two alerts ahead of the long holiday weekend urging jewelers to take caution while traveling with merchandise and reminding them to respond to all alarms at their stores.   

In the first alert, issued Monday, the organization said there have been eight crimes committed against jewelers and traveling jewelry salespeople between Oct. 16 and Nov. 16. 

These attacks have been taking place from coast to coast. 

According to JSA, these incidences include a jeweler being followed by a suspect on a scooter and robbed in Queens, New York, on Oct. 16; a traveling salesperson who had their trunk lock cut and a large amount of merchandise stolen while in the parking lot of a jewelry store on Nov. 1 in Providence, Rhode Island; and two robberies involving suspects crashing into jewelers’ cars in California. 

The first crash took place Oct. 24, when four gang members deliberately crashed into the vehicle of a salesman from Hong Kong on the I-10 in Los Angeles. 

JSA said the suspects swarmed the damaged car and stole merchandise while the salesman was on his knees with his arms raised. 

The second happened Nov. 16 on the I-405 in Huntington Beach, south of Los Angeles. The suspects hit two cars on the freeway before robbing a jewelry store employee and taking off in a different vehicle, a white Ford Explorer, JSA said.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Crimes against jewelers and other jewelry industry personnel hit record levels in 2022, as both the number of incidences and dollars losses rose considerably. 

This included an increase in what JSA classifies as off-premises crimes, defined as an attack that occurs away from the victim’s business base of operations. 

The organization recorded 65 cases of off-premises attacks in 2022, nearly double the number from 2021. 

On Monday, JSA reminded jewelers of some the tips it has shared in the past for reducing risk and losses while on the road with jewelry. 

They include jewelers: taking evasive action, whether walking or driving, when leaving a sales call; not leaving merchandise in an unattended vehicle; considering themselves a crime target if they suddenly have a flat tire or their car is overheating; and shipping merchandise after trade shows, if possible. 

JSA also noted that jewelers need to be skeptical of all strangers who approach them when they are carrying merchandise. 

According to JSA, on Oct. 17, a woman approached a jeweler who was filling up at a gas station in Miami to ask for his assistance in pumping gas. Suspects opened his trunk and stole jewelry while he was “helping” the woman. 

JSA’s second alert came Tuesday, reminding jewelers about the risk of burglaries over holiday periods, like the approaching Thanksgiving weekend.

The organization said if jewelers receive an alert from their alarm company over the long holiday weekend, they or an employee must respond with the police.

Stores should also make sure their list of contacts filed with the alarm company is up to date and includes enough people so someone is reachable over the holiday weekend.

When they do respond, they and the police must examine all possible points of entry, including the roof, sidewalls, and any way to get into the store through a neighboring business.

JSA President John Kennedy spoke about the increase in off-premises attacks and the need for jewelers to respond to any and all alarm signals on a recent episode of “My Next Question,” National Jeweler and Jewelers of America’s webinar series.

Watch the full webinar, “How to Protect Your Store This Holiday Season,” here.

Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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