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Veteran rep Carolyn Woltz Lennon retires

Veteran rep Carolyn Woltz Lennon retires

After 30+ years on the road covering North Carolin...

Shinola brings back American-made watches

Shinola brings back American-made watches

Business leaders that turn adversity into opportun...

Cargo Hold launches new line of classic, colorful bracelets

Cargo Hold launches new line of classic, colorful bracelets

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) - CARGO™ Enamel is the latest co...

Endless Jewelry strengthens senior management and secures investment

Endless Jewelry strengthens senior management and secures investment

“We proudly announce that we are strengthening the...

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Southern Jewelers Guild debuts

Southern Jewelers Guild debuts

Focuses on marketing, digital assets & retailer/vendor connective services

After several years of research, and months of planning, the Southern Jewelers Guild will have its official launch at the August, 2015 Atlanta Jewelry Show.

The concept, cre...

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Industry Events

International Gemological Institute brings IGI D-Show to West India

(JAIPUR, India) – Independent gem certification and appraisal institute, The International Gemological Institute (IGI), hosted the first west India IGI D-Show - a buyer-seller knowledge meet - at Jaipur’s Fairmont Hotel June 13-15. The event enabled m...

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On The Move

Wholesale Moissanite expands its network of partners

(RALEIGH, N.C.) - Wholesale Moissanite, located in Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina, is an international wholesale-to-retail authorized distributor for Charles & Colvard created Moissanite. Wholesale Moissanite has been and continues...

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What's New

Designs by HC introduces the PINK Collection

Designs by HC introduces the PINK Collection

(NEW YORK) - Up and coming brand, Designs by HC has reported great success with their new PINK Collection launched this year at the LUXURY Show by JCK. Designs by HC believes they have found a new niche with the new collection, a change of pace to it’...

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Featured Articles

United Precious Metals Refining – steady growth since 1988

United Precious Metals Refining – steady growth since 1988

Established in 1988, United Precious Metals Refining (United) was founded by previous employees of the former P.M. Refining Co. in Buffalo, NY. A team of well experienced management, sales, office, assaying, refining, melting and fabrication personne...

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Latest News

Southern Jewelers Guild debuts

1 DAY AGO
Southern Jewelers Guild debuts

Focuses on marketing, digital assets & retailer/vendor connective services

After several years of research, and months of planning, the Southern Jewelers Guild will have its official launch at the August, 2015 Atlanta Jewelry Show.

The concept, created by Ann Glynn, President of GJB, Inc., and Exe...

Readmore

JVC introduces new Guide to Intellectual Property Law

1 DAY AGO

(NEW YORK) - The Jewelers Vigilance Committee (“JVC”) is pleased to announce the release of its latest publication, “I’ve Got An Idea! JVC’s Guide to Intellectual Property Law”. This handbook is intended for any business in the jewelry industry that is interested in learning more about how to protect...

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International Gemological Institute brings IGI D-Show to West India

1 DAY AGO

(JAIPUR, India) – Independent gem certification and appraisal institute, The International Gemological Institute (IGI), hosted the first west India IGI D-Show - a buyer-seller knowledge meet - at Jaipur’s Fairmont Hotel June 13-15. The event enabled more than 938 successful meetings between participa...

Readmore

Countdown begins to Select By Centurion Show in Chicago

1 DAY AGO

(CHICAGO) - The 2015 Select By Centurion Show in Chicago is gearing up and ready to go later this month with a roster of elite manufacturers and trend-setting designers, plus gourmet meals, luxury accommodations, and targeted education sessions perfect to get ready for the holiday selling season. Ful...

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Veteran rep Carolyn Woltz Lennon retires

1 DAY AGO
Veteran rep Carolyn Woltz Lennon retires

After 30+ years on the road covering North Carolina, South Carolina and part of Virginia, sales representative Carolyn Woltz Lennon has announced her retirement. Carolyn began her career in 1983 with CMI Jewelry Wholesale in Raleigh, NC. She went on to represent Minneapolis, MN-based Jewelmont then ...

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Wholesale Moissanite expands its network of partners

1 DAY AGO

(RALEIGH, N.C.) - Wholesale Moissanite, located in Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina, is an international wholesale-to-retail authorized distributor for Charles & Colvard created Moissanite. Wholesale Moissanite has been and continues to be a leading distributor for Charles & Col...

Readmore

Designs by HC introduces the PINK Collection

1 DAY AGO
Designs by HC introduces the PINK Collection

(NEW YORK) - Up and coming brand, Designs by HC has reported great success with their new PINK Collection launched this year at the LUXURY Show by JCK. Designs by HC believes they have found a new niche with the new collection, a change of pace to it’s classic product - The Timeless Collection - of d...

Readmore

Cargo Hold launches new line of classic, colorful bracelets

1 DAY AGO
Cargo Hold launches new line of classic, colorful bracelets

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) - CARGO™ Enamel is the latest collection of classic jewelry items offered from the popular jewelry wholesaler, Cargo Hold, Inc. The new collection features high quality braided and stitched European leather bracelets, paired with Italian enamel accents, for a colorful yet classic l...

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The Best Policy: Your alarm company just called. What should you do?

It was 7 p.m., the weather was rotten, and Amy Thist had just gotten home from a busy day at the store and settled in front of her fireplace when the phone rang.

"This is Wiketchem Alarm Company. We are getting a motion-sensor trip at your store."

Reluctantly, Amy put her coat back on and drove the five miles back to the store. The police had already arrived, had done a visual check of the exterior of the store, found nothing, and were waiting for Amy to arrive for an interior check of the premises.
Inside, nothing was found to be out of the ordinary. A helium-filled "balloon-o-gram" which had been delivered that day was on a desk in the same room as the offending motion detector. Amy removed it and successfully reset the alarm as she and the police exited.

Perry Doe roused sleepily and reached to turn off his alarm clock. Why was it going off at 1 a.m.? Then Perry's mind focused enough to realize that the annoying sound was from his bedside telephone. The alarm company was calling to report a possible break-in at the jewelry store. Perry asked for the dispatcher's name and ID number, which he jotted on a note-pad that he kept next to the phone.

His next step was to call the monitoring company back; he had the number on a card under the note-pad. "I'm calling to confirm an alarm call at Perry Doe Jewelry; my access code is ..." The dispatcher confirmed the call and Perry said he would leave immediately for the store - would they please contact the guard service or police if they had not already done so.

Perry arrived at the store to find a pick-up truck sitting half inside his store, broken glass and bent metal were everywhere.
Alexander Wright had been plagued by false alarm calls for several nights in a row - at different times of night, but always for the same reason. It was happening again. Each time, the phone line monitor was showing "fault" for some unknown reason, but the system always reset itself. This night he decided to tell the alarm company to ignore the signal and not dispatch, and Alex went back to sleep.

Emma Rallgrine got a call from her alarm company when she was at a party one Saturday night. She was told that the only unit showing trouble was one of the four motion detectors in the showroom; none of the door contacts or glass-break sensors had been activated - proof to Emma that no one could actually be in the store. Anyone wanting to break into her store would have to break a window or force a door before tripping an interior motion sensor. So Emma returned to the party, resolved to call for an alarm technician to come on Monday to fix the problem unit.

Let's look at each of these alarm scenarios.
Amy Thist - Amy had only one unit that was indicating a problem in her store - a motion detector which appeared to have been triggered by a wavering ball of gas. That was a plausible explanation. On the other hand, did anyone check the roof? Is it possible that burglars had begun a penetration from above, and that vibration or noise from the tools or equipment had triggered the alarm system?

We don't know for certain. But had there been another alarm that night after removing the balloons, Amy would have had reason to suspect a more serious problem.

Perry Doe
Perry did a lot of things right. Knowing that a fake call from the alarm company could lure him to the store on a dangerous false pretext, or permit a hostage situation at his home, Perry's first act was to confirm the call. Note also that he called using a phone number that he independently knew to be correct - rather than ask the caller for a call-back number.
Next, he made certain that police or the guard service would meet him at the store. Had he arrived before them, he would have waited in his locked vehicle for assistance.

Alexander Wright
Burglars had been tampering with the phone line. They first tested the line to see if the system was monitored or if there was a back-up communicator such as cellular phone or radio. There was, so their ploy then was to test the system repeatedly to the point that the jeweler or the alarm company would simply ignore it. After three nights, the plan worked. They broke into the store through the back door and took the safe out through the same door.

Emma Rallgrine
The first thing that Emma saw when she entered her store on Monday morning was the rope. Next, her eyes spotted the debris on the floor, and then the hole in the roof through which the rope still hung.

Showcases which had contained merchandise were empty, having been opened from the back. Burglars had dropped into the store and crept behind showcases, those cases forming a protective "shadow" from the other motion detectors.
Emma mistakenly believed that burglars used doors and windows to break into premises they intend to burglarize. They don't - especially when going for jewelry. In fact, doors and windows are seldom the way in for professional thieves who are after serious merchandise.

Burglars enter by removing heating and air conditioning units to gain access through duct work; they crawl over stem walls or smash through them from adjacent premises; they cut and chisel through solid masonry walls, and they "drop in" after cutting holes in roofs, whether wood, steel, or solid concrete. They even cut their way up from lower premises and basements, or tunnels.

What does insurance require?
There is no question that alarm systems are essential to the jewelry industry. No safe or vault is impenetrable - all can be opened given the right tools and enough time. Alarm systems take away the element of time and for that reason are a critical part of every jeweler's security formula.

At the same time, alarm systems can sometimes be a source of consternation. Systems can give false readings, units can malfunction, batteries can go down. Anything electronic can be foiled - or fooled. Jewelers spend a great deal of money to install and maintain their alarm systems; then does it make sense to ignore them?

Are there circumstances where alarm malfunction is clear or at least very probable? There are. For example, adverse weather can affect alarm systems. Also the location of a particular unit that is faulting in relation to other equipment can be a clue to the possibility of a system malfunction.

What should you do if your system will not set up when it is time to close? What should you do when you receive an alarm call after closing?

Perry Doe provides a good example for what to do when you receive a call. Confirm the alarm using an independent phone number before leaving home; request police or guard response; drive to the store and wait for assistance before entering; check the premises thoroughly, inside and out, looking for signs of forcible entry - remembering to also check adjacent businesses and to look for indications of roof access.

Most insurance companies at least recommend that an alarm call be responded to by the subscriber (what alarm people call jewelers). Some may require it. If the alarm will not set, someone may need to remain inside the premises - lights on, cell phone at hand, frequent police drive-by requested.

Does that put the person inside at risk? The risk is not as great as one might think. Burglary is by nature not a confrontational crime. A burglar's goal is to sneak in, steal what he came to steal, and then go away - leaving the victim to discover the crime hours later. A person remaining inside the store is generally cause to abort the crime and try again elsewhere - even though that person is not actually there to "guard" the premises nor expected to resist should there be an attack on the store.

Some insurers will recommend or require that a guard be hired if the alarm system is not functioning. Some insurers recommend that a jeweler call the insurance company for specific instructions. Knowing what to do is really a case of knowing your insurance carrier and that company's expectations - and whether those expectations are recommendations or requirements. The difference is that if a requirement is not adhered to, coverage may be jeopardized.

Check your policy for endorsements related to your alarm system. Check to see if your insurer offers any literature with instructions on what to do in the event of alarm failure. Is there a requirement that the insured (jeweler) respond to every alarm situation - or is that the recommended procedure?

Can you talk to your insurance company in the middle of the night - on a weekend? Can you talk to a real person to discuss the situation and get advice, or do you get a recording and an opportunity to leave a message for a call-back on the next business day? Is your carrier in another country or "across the pond," and do you know how to reach someone in authority in an emergency? Can you call your agent for advice?

This agent places significant business with one carrier who provides guidelines - a set of procedures that are recommended and encouraged for the prevention of loss. That company also provides an emergency phone number that allows the jeweler to speak with a person in the home office who has the authority to advise and make binding decisions. Additionally, the agent provides 24/7 accessibility. A guard or "staying with the store" is seldom required as prudence and common sense often suggest other options.

If you were looking for this column to give you unequivocal instructions as to what you must do in the event of alarm failure, and an answer to whether your carrier will pay a loss if certain "rules" are not followed; you are disappointed. There is not one answer that will apply no matter who the carrier might be.

The key is for you to read your policy, and know your insurance carrier and what that company expects of you when you receive an alarm call. And since no two situations are exactly the same, determine where or whom you can go to when you have questions ... on a Sunday morning at 2 a.m.




Bob Carroll of Robert G. Carroll and Associates is a Certified Insurance Counselor specializing in insurance for the jewelry industry for more than twenty-five years, representing Jewelers Mutual and other carriers in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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