JSA: As Stores Reopen, Staff Need to Watch for Red Flags

CrimeJun 23, 2021

JSA: As Stores Reopen, Staff Need to Watch for Red Flags

Never getting off the cell phone, heavy jackets in the heat of summer and coming in and out of the store can be signs something is amiss.

New York—The Jewelers’ Security Alliance is reminding jewelers and their sales associates to remain vigilant as the country continues to reopen.

JSA President John Kennedy said he expects “things could be heating up” in the coming months.

So far this year, JSA statistics show dollar losses are down dramatically when compared with 2020 and 2019, a year in which dollar losses spiked due to a small number of professional gangs pulling off big burglaries.

The number of incidences, however, remains on par with 2020 and 2019. 

“We don’t want to see people become complacent,” Kennedy said Tuesday. 

“I can’t say that crime has really taken off, but we are concerned that it could,” he added, noting many people are under financial duress and the world in general remains “topsy-turvy.”  

Last week, JSA issued a crime alert on what Kennedy described as a “significant” amount of activity for one week. The organization received reports of four grab-and-run thefts and two smash-and-grabs between June 8 and 15.

According to the alert there were: 
— A grab-and-run involving an expensive watch in a jewelry store in Ontario, California on June 8; 
— A smash-and-grab in a jewelry store in Montgomery, Alabama on June 9; 
— A grab-and-run involving a necklace in a department store in Exton, Pennsylvania on June 9; 
— A grab-and-run involving a gold chain from a jewelry store in San Antonio, Texas on June 10; 
— A grab-and-run involving a gold chain from a jewelry store in Downey, California on June 12; and 
— A smash-and-grab at a jewelry store in Tulalip, Washington on June 15. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

In the Tulalip robbery, JSA said the suspect asked to see watches and then walked around the store inquiring about prices while staying on his cell phone the entire time. 

He asked to make an appointment at a later date.

Less than 10 minutes later, JSA said the suspect returned with a female companion who inquired about gold watches. The man, meanwhile, went up to a showcase, took out a small tool and smashed it. 

He took rings and pendants and ran from the store, with the woman following him. 

JSA said there were several red flags in this case that called for associates to exercise additional caution. 

The suspect didn’t stop talking on his cell phone—which usually means the individual is communicating with an accomplice—and he left the store and returned shortly thereafter—which often indicates the suspect is waiting for a safer opportunity to strike. 
JSA said the suspect also was wearing a puffy black North Face jacket despite the fact that it was 77 degrees that day. 

Clothing inappropriate for the season can indicate someone is attempting to conceal their true size, use the garment to put on a showcase to set up for a distraction theft, or is concealing a weapon, as was the case in the Tulalip robbery. 

Kennedy said this incidence highlights the need for stores to have a system in place to address security risks, such as calling over a second sales associate to assist or establishing a code word that alerts staff to a suspicious situation.

“If you spot them and they know you’ve spotted them, they might not do anything,” he said.  
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

MajorsNov 24, 2021
Here Are This Year’s Black Friday Jewelry, Watch Deals

From Amazon to Zales, several retailers have deals lined up for the shopping holiday.

MajorsNov 24, 2021
Former JCK Associate Publisher Donna Borrelli Dies

The longtime industry veteran had a breakthrough case of COVID-19.

MajorsNov 24, 2021
Samuel B Has Now Donated More Than 1M Meals to Feeding America

The company donates 10 meals to the nonprofit for every piece of jewelry it sells.

Brought to you by
Train Your Staff Today with Interactive eLearning

Join the prestigious brands, industry organizations and sellers using IGI’s educational services.

CollectionsNov 24, 2021
Piece of the Week: Sorellina’s Lover’s Bypass Ring

It’s double the toi et moi fun.

Weekly QuizNov 23, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of Nov. 22-26, 2021.
Take the Quiz
ColumnistsNov 23, 2021
When Did You Know You Wanted To Be in Sales?

A question from an astute young relative has Peter Smith pondering this question in his latest column.

Policies & IssuesNov 23, 2021
BIJC Has an I.D.E.A for Diversity Training in 2022

Starting in January, the Black in Jewelry Coalition will host webinars on addressing racial injustice and encountering racism in retail.

Brought to you by
3 Tips For Entering the Estate Market

Generate foot traffic and expand your jewelry expertise by adding an estate assortment to your store in partnership with Windsor Jewelers, Inc.

SourcingNov 23, 2021
Parlé, Gem Legacy Team Up for Giving Tuesday Fundraising Campaign

Parlé will match donations up to $15,000 in an effort to build houses for teachers at a Tanzanian primary school.