(NEENAH, Wis.) - There are four words a jeweler never wants to hear: “On the floor ... now!” In early July, Jewelers Mutual hosted webinars for the jewelry industry titled “Robbery: Before, During and After” with recommendations on how to reduce the likelihood of being targeted, survive the threat if you are targeted and recover from an attack. Along with the webinar which can be accessed at JewelersMutual.com, Jewelers Mutual also introduced a new robbery checklist for jewelers.
If an armed robber enters your store, what will you do? Jewelers Mutual’s loss prevention specialists, Carrie Volp and Tim O’Conner, began with tips to know when your store is being cased. According to Volp, “To prevent a crime, you have to assume that you are being cased and always be aware of the threat. That’s the first step to making your store as safe as possible.”
But even with the best preventative measures in place, preparing yourself and your staff mentally for an attack can mean the difference between life and death. “The game changes the second someone comes into your store with a weapon,” says Volp. “The most important thing you can do is stay calm and comply. The sooner you can give the robbers what they want and they leave, the better.”
It may sound counterintuitive, but Jewelers Mutual recommends not activating a panic button or alarm until the robbers have left the store. Doing so too early could lead to the police’s arrival on the scene while the robbery is occurring, which could precipitate a dangerous hostage situation.
After a robbery, it can be difficult to know what to do first. To help jewelers during these crisis moments, Jewelers Mutual has developed a robbery checklist jewelers can refer to immediately following an attack. It includes tips like:
- Lock the doors immediately after the perpetrators leave
- Call 9-1-1 and tend to anyone who may be injured
- Try to keep all witnesses at the scene and collect contact information
- Ask your staff and witnesses to make notes as soon as possible about the robber and the incident
- Share these details with the police, and allow them to conduct a full investigation
- Contact your Jewelers Mutual agent or the company’s 24/7 emergency line to report the loss
Once the immediate threat is past, the initial shock of a robbery can leave jewelers and employees feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Flashbacks are common, and talking about the experience and your feelings with a trusted support system of friends and family members can help you recover emotionally. You should also consider professional counseling if the stress or flashbacks interfere with your home life or work.
In fact, Jewelers Mutual takes the extra step of helping its policyholders deal with the trauma of an armed robbery by offering a free benefit that contributes to the costs of professional counseling services. “We are here to serve the jewelry industry, and part of that service is helping our members recover and move forward with their lives and their businesses,” said Volp. “This benefit is just one small way we can help you recover when you face a loss.”