Report courtesy of Jewelers’ Security Alliance
Kennewick, WA - February 9, 2011: At 6:30 p.m. three masked gunmen forced their way into the home of a retail jeweler and tied up two family members. The suspects then waited for two other family members, including the jeweler’s wife, to get home, and then held them as well. When the jeweler arrived, two of the suspects forced him to take them back to his jewelry store, while one suspect remained guarding the family. After taking a quantity of jewelry merchandise, they took the jeweler back home and drove off in his pick-up truck, which they later abandoned. The phone lines were cut at the jeweler’s home, and the robbers departed at 8:30 p.m. after the two hour ordeal. No one was physically injured during the crime.
Similar incidents of home invasions occurred in the Portland, Oregon area on March 25, 2010 and November 4, 2009.
Jewelers’ Security Alliance Recommendations: Jewelers are at risk 24/7, even at home. This risk requires that jewelers take precautions outside their retail store. Security at home is a complicated subject discussed on pages 29-32 of JSA’s Manual of Jewelry Security. (JSA members and law enforcement personnel can contact JSA to request a Manual if they do not have a copy). However, some brief recommendations are:
- Jewelers should vary their travel route from store to home and make sure they are not being watched or followed. This requires evasive driving action.
- Jewelers must be concerned about their physical security at home: proper alarms, locks and lighting.
- In many invasions of jewelers’ homes, a family member at home has opened the door to the invaders, who often pretend to be delivery people. All family members and household help must be trained to follow strict security procedures and not open the door to unknown persons.
- All family members must be alert to suspicious persons around the home who may be engaged in casing the home seeking information such as who are the family members and what are their patterns and schedules.
- Jewelers should have unlisted and unpublished home phone numbers, and should make sure that their home phone number can’t be located on Google or another search engine, along with their home address.
- Jewelers must be careful with respect to home and family information and photos on social networking sites such as Facebook.