After responding to a series of early morning alarms over a short time span and finding a quiet, vacant store each time the alarm signal is investigated, it’s easy to assume the next alarm is false. Don’t make that assumption so fast. Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has helped many jewelers recover after experiencing a loss that may have been avoided if they hadn’t ignored the last call from their alarm company.

How & Why Thieves Create "False ALarms"

  • Here is what happens. Thieves trigger the alarm on several occasions and watch from a safe distance where they carefully observe the "reliability" as well as the nature of the alarm response.
  • They watch to see who will respond, as well as how thoroughly the responder investigates the source of the alarm.
  • They monitor how long it takes for the store owner and police to arrive, and observe how police can only canvass the exterior of the store before declaring an “all clear” when no one arrives to give them access to the store. Having done their homework, the burglars are ready to make their uninterrupted move.

How Thieves Enter The Store
In some cases, the burglars cut a hole in the wall of the neighboring vacant space; others cut their way through the store’s roof. They often disable the alarm after entering the store, giving them the entire night to destroy the safe, ransack the store, and take all of the valuable jewelry with them.

Tips to Keep Your Store Safe
Although Jewelers Mutual continues to see these types of jewelry crimes throughout the country, there are ways to avoid them. To keep your store safe and burglar-free, consider the following tips:
  • The UL Certified Central Station burglar alarm system with dispatched guard service provides the most reliable alarm protection.
  • Burglar alarm protection must include line security to maintain the integrity of the alarm communication path.
  • A properly designed, installed and maintained video surveillance system can help to deter crime and to assist in crime investigation leading to apprehensions.
  • Respond to each and every alarm signal. Repeated “false” alarms could signify an imminent plan to burglarize your store.
  • When responding to an alarm, take precautions: Do not arrive at your store until you can meet the guard dispatched by your UL Central Station or a police officer whom your alarm service company notified of the alarm signal.
  • Store merchandise in a locked safe or vault. Be sure to comply with the in-safe warranty on your insurance policy.
  • Never place safes along adjoining tenant walls. This makes it easier for burglars to cut through the wall and into the backs of safes.
  • Place even low-value merchandise out of sight in drawers, cabinets, or other storage areas if it doesn’t fit in your safe or vault. Avoid using covers that fit over your showcases, because this implies that there is valuable merchandise within -- a strong enticement to burglars.

JA Members can receive a free of copy of Security Guide for Retail Jewelry Businesses by emailing marketing_comm@jminsure.com. To learn more about how to prevent burglaries and other types of theft at your jewelry store, visit the Security & Safety section at JewelersMutual.com.

If you aren’t yet insured with Jewelers Mutual, call them at 800-558-6411 to learn more about their coverages or to find an insurance agent in your area.


The “Security & Risk Prevention” articles are part of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company’s Safe & Secure Series, and are provided to Jewelers of America members as an exclusive service of Jewelers Mutual.

Jewelers Mutual was founded by jewelers in 1913 and remains the leading insurer solely dedicated to insuring jewelry and the jewelry industry. For additional insurance and security information, visit www.JewelersMutual.com or call them at 800-558-6411.

If you have questions or feedback about this article or recommendations for additional security and loss prevention/risk management topics, click here to contact Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company via email or call 800-558-6411.