Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) has released a new Crime Alert warning of a new wave of smash and grab robberies targeting jewelers in the Midwestern United States. Below find a listing of several recent incidents and prevention recommendations from JSA.
Novi, MI – November 13, 2017
At 7:30 p.m. three suspects, one of whom is pictured below, approached a retail jewelry store, and one suspect propped open the door and all three entered. One returned and held the door while the other two smashed two showcases, putting loose diamonds in a bag, and all ran out of the store.
Madison Heights, MI – November 9, 2017
At 8:19 p.m. four black male suspects wearing hoodies, one of whom is pictured below, approached a retail jewelry store. One propped the outside door with a brick, and held the inside door while the others entered. Two suspects proceeded to the back of the store and smashed a diamond showcase with hammers, taking diamond merchandise.
Chicago, IL – November 3, 2017
At 11:40 a.m. three black male suspects (two of whom are pictured below) used a mallet to smash showcases and take high end watches at a retail jewelry store on the Magnificent Mile. The suspects escaped down three sets of escalators. The suspects, who were wearing hoodies, were reported to be between 17 and 25 years old, and between 5’10” and 6’. It has been reported that a similar smash and grab occurred at the same store on 10/13/17, in which the suspects escaped in a gold Jeep Cherokee. If you have information, contact the Chicago Police Department Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8384.
Portage, MI – October 25, 2017
At 8:23 p.m. four black suspects, one of whom is pictured below, carried out a smash and grab robbery of loose diamonds at a retail jewelry store. One suspect held the door while three suspects entered and went directly to the back of the store. Two suspect used hammers and began smashing showcases, while a third, possibly a female, put loose diamonds in a bag.
Grand Rapids, MI – October 6, 2017
At 8:39 p.m. two black male suspects entered a retail jewelry store with small hammers and went to the diamond case. They smashed the top of the case and took loose stones. Suspects were in and out of the store in one minute and escaped in a white vehicle.
- 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.
- Having buzzers on the door can help to keep out potential robbers.
- Spreading high end watch and diamond merchandise among several showcases, and not concentrated in one or two showcases, can reduce the size of a smash and grab robbery.
- Surveillance photos from eye-level cameras inside and outside the store provide excellent evidence for police. Ceiling cameras too often capture useless photos of the top of heads or hats.
- Keeping a log book of suspicious incidents, and putting aside and saving surveillance video of suspicious incidents, can be a great help in subsequent investigations.
- Sharing information and photos among local jewelers and police, and with JSA, regarding casings and suspects can help prevent crime and assist with investigations.
Jewelers’ Security Alliance is a non-profit trade association with nearly 20,000 members that has been providing crime information and assistance to the jewelry industry and law enforcement since 1883. Visit JSA’s website, www.jewelerssecurity.org, for more information on crime against jewelers or to post your own crime information.