One minute you’re taking inventory, the next…
“GET DOWN! DON’T MOVE OR I’LL SHOOT!”
SMASH! SMASH! SMASH! Doors slam. Tires squeal. Silence…
Your worst nightmare of a jewelry store robbery could be longer in duration than an actual robbery. Criminals today often attack businesses and flee in less than a minute.
Preparation is the only way to avoid a traumatic event like this, and it’s also the best way to get through it safely. Follow this advice to prevent a robbery and stay safe if you find yourself in the middle of one.
Robbery Prevention Tips
To say “here’s what to do before a jewelry store robbery” implies that you know one will occur. That’s rarely, if ever, the case.
You may be able to stop a potential crime by identifying a criminal casing your business, but a strong set of security procedures and equipment will discourage criminals from targeting you in the first place.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Hire a security guard (preferably an armed, off-duty police officer) to deter would-be robbers.
- Control the entrance of your business with a door buzzer or other screening device.
- Install highly secure showcases that resist blows from hammers.
- Spread high-value merchandise between showcases.
- Optimize your electronic security by installing surveillance cameras inside and outside your store; you can also order jewelry store security materials to let criminals know you have this equipment in place.
- Keep a log of suspicious incidents and share them with your local police, other jewelers, and the Jewelers’ Security Alliance.
Do’s and Don’ts During a Robbery
If you believe your business isn’t just being cased, but about to be robbed, alert your staff by using a predetermined code word or phrase. This should initiate a procedure where one associate exits with their phone and calls the police.
Unfortunately, for smash-and-grab robberies to take place in under a minute, they are often preceded with little or no prior notice. The robbers rush the store with no time for anyone to react.
Everyone has a different “fight or flight” response when something as shocking and unsuspected as a robbery happens, but it’s critical that you and your associates are trained to not resist.
Resistance is the most dangerous mistake you can make because it could lead to more than just stolen jewelry — someone could be seriously injured or die.
Here’s what not to do:
- Make eye contact, speak, or appear threatening to the robbers in anyway
- Call the police, press a hold-up alarm, or panic button
- Pursue the robbers after they leave
It’s going to be difficult to concentrate after coming face-to-face with a firearm and standing around broken glass. But here’s your checklist for the aftermath:
- Lock your doors and remain inside (this includes any customers present at the time) until police arrive
- Call the police, even if an alarm has been set off
- Do not touch anything while waiting for the police — robbers often leave behind fingerprints, blood, or other evidence after breaking showcases
- Assist anyone who may have been injured during the robbery
- Cooperate fully with police when they arrive and with investigating officers in the days that follow
- Call your insurance agent and insurance company to report a claim if any merchandise was lost or if property has been damaged —Logan Moore