July 30, 2015
While alarm systems and safes are essential in protecting your jewelry business, these security measures offer little when it comes to combatting smash and grab crimes.  With smash and grabs, a robber will smash your store window or display case, grab merchandise and flee the scene as quickly as possible. Jewelers of America's preferred insurance partner Jewelers Mutual offers this advice to help protect your business against these quick crimes.

When Open for Business

Normal glass can be shattered, but there are ways to strengthen it. Many jewelers opt to apply impact resistant glazing materials or laminated glass to their show windows and display cases.  When looking at this option, strongly consider using products that meet the standards of Underwriters Laboratories (“U.L.”).  Proper installation is also vital to ensure the effectiveness of these products, as framing may also reinforce cases to withstand significant impact.  It’s best to discuss your needs with an expert to identify solutions for your business.

According to the Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA), “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.”

Other recommendations to combat smash and grabs while open for business include the use of locked door buzzer systems to control client entry and the presence of eye-level security cameras inside your store and covering all entrances.  Also, remember that jewelry crime is almost always preceded by some level of degree of casing – so, always be looking for suspicious behavior to sniff out a potential crime before it happens.

After Hours

Criminals never sleep. After you and your staff have gone home for the evening, thieves can try to enter your store premises by breaking through external windows. The protective glazing materials can provide protection from the exterior of your store as well, but there are many preventive measures that can also deter criminals in the first place.

  • Do not leave items in showcases or on work benches overnight. Store all merchandise in safes and vaults overnight (including less expensive items).
  • If you do not have enough room in your safes or vault for less expensive merchandise, find ways to keep it out of sight such as storing in a backroom, closet or under showcases.  
  • Do not cover display cases overnight; it invites curiosity of what you are covering up.
  • Install metal bars or grills behind all glass windows and doors.
  • Place bollards in front of your business to prevent criminals from using a vehicle as a battering ram.

For more security tips, visit the Safety and Security page on JewelersMutual.com. You’ll find useful Tips of the Weeks, loss prevention videos and the latest news on jewelry crime. To learn more about insurance coverage, call 800-558-6411 to find a Jewelers Mutual agent or broker in your area.

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