February 15, 2022
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As we’ve witnessed over the past several months, smash-and-grab robberies have been topping the news headlines. This has jewelers a bit nervous and rightfully so, as these crimes are often high-profile, brazen attacks that happen quickly and result in high-dollar losses.

If you’ve ever seen surveillance footage of a smash-and-grab theft happening, it almost appears as though nothing could have been done to stop it—but that’s not always the case.

After casing a variety of jewelry businesses, criminals know a soft target when they see one.

Follow these seven tips to prevent smash-and-grab robberies and make your business a hard target that discourages criminals from attempting a smash-and-grab at your location.

How to Prevent Smash-and-Grab Robberies
  1. Keep your front doors and windows clear of obstructions, so employees can see suspicious persons outside and passersby can see inside.
  2. Use a video surveillance system that has both overt and concealed cameras. Post signs announcing you have a surveillance system recording images 24 hours a day, with footage monitored and stored off-site. Make sure your security plan is discouraging criminals by ordering free store security signage from Jewelers Mutual® Group.
  3. Consider installing burglary-resistant glass for your showcase sides, fronts and tops. This material will slow down an attack. Since robbers want to be in and out as fast as possible, it may even prevent them from accessing your merchandise.
  4. Spread high-value merchandise throughout your showroom and showcases instead of displaying these items together in one area.
  5. Consider having a mantrap or door buzzer entry system so you’re able to control access to the premises, or at the very least, be aware of when someone enters or exits. Keep your employees informed of how to properly admit customers and deal with suspicious incidents.

Here are a few things to consider discussing with your insurance agent:

  • Who has the final authority to admit or deny a person at the door?
  • What reasons will they give for not granting access to your business?
  • Will the police be contacted immediately, or will the incident be reported to a crime-prevention network?
  • What will your business’s response be in the event of negative publicity?
  • Will staff be prepared if a crime still occurs?

  1. Hire a guard during times of high risk, such as trunk shows, special events or high-traffic periods to help deter criminals.

By selecting a reputable security guard service, you can trust that the guards you work with are certified and licensed by the state and comply with necessary requirements. Below are some specific skills that are also recommended.

  • Firearms training
  • Evacuation training
  • Active-shooter training
  • Escort training
  • Handcuffing techniques
  • Certified in CPR
  • Taser training
  • Pepper-spray training
  • Baton training

Having an armed guard who possesses additional skills like these may cost more, but, considering the severity of crimes in the jewelry industry, they are worth the investment. Bold criminals likely may not seem fazed by unarmed guards.

However, the decision to select these services is complex and needs to be addressed taking into consideration the special circumstances of each jewelry business.

To keep your business secure after hours, consider enrolling in the Alarm Response Program.  You’ll have peace of mind knowing that any activated alarm will be responded to by a trained security officer and there are no additional fees for false alarms.

  1. Always have multiple employees on the sales floor. One should always be greeting the customers as they enter, and others should be providing ongoing customer service. An actual customer will enjoy the attention they’ve received, but a criminal might feel uncomfortable and leave.

Here are a few tips for adopting consistent meet-and-greet practices:

  • Offer a quick hello and make eye contact.
  • Ask the person what they are shopping for and whether it’s a special occasion.
  • Watch for anyone wearing sunglasses, baggy garments or something not appropriate for the season, as those may help conceal their identity.
  • Pay extra attention to groups of three or more, as people don’t typically shop for jewelry in large groups.

Remember, your staff will need to repeatedly practice safety tips to form consistent procedural security. Don’t leave their practicing to chance—learn more about how you can keep your jewelry store safe by reviewing “A Jeweler’s Guide 24/7 Security” provided by the loss prevention experts at Jewelers Mutual.

Interested in other tips, tools, and techniques aimed at helping you run a more secure and successful jewelry business? Browse more of our Business Tips.

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