11 Reminders in Response to the New York Diamond District Robbery
Do you remember the high-profile robbery of a New York Diamond District jewelry business in late 2014?
Because of the crime's location and the extraordinary police response that was due to the crime's concurrence with New York's Veterans Day Parade a short distance away, this event received considerable attention from both the jewelry-trade and mainstream media.
High-profile crimes such as this raise awareness of crime risk and provide a good opportunity to review best security practices.
Without any evaluation of security practices applied in this particular case, Jewelers Mutual provides the following observations and reminders that this case elicits:
- Crime can happen to any jewelry business. As this case demonstrates no business is immune, whether located in a highly secured area or not; whether day or night; whether a retail, wholesale, manufacturing, or hybrid operation; whether busy with customers or slow.
- When a mall or building where a jewelry business is located gets locked down because of concerns about criminals in the area, the jewelry business should consider locking doors, closing any window blinds or curtains, and locking away merchandise until law enforcement authorities provide an all-clear.
- Having an exterior camera with monitor and recorder to survey a high-rise building's hallway allows the business operator to view visitors and confirm their identities before allowing them to enter the premises. Additionally, recorded video evidence from the cameras could assist the police's investigation of the crime. It is wise to record a camera's images from an offsite location.
- During a robbery, cooperate with the criminals' demands and make no sudden movements. Remain as still as possible unless the robber asks you to do something. In complying with the robber's instructions, move in a deliberate and methodical manner and do nothing to surprise the criminal.
- Personal safety of business associates and customers is the paramount concern. Merchandise can be replaced; human life cannot. This is why jewelry businesses need insurance. In any crime scenario, focus on keeping everyone safe and let your insurance replace losses to merchandise and business assets.
Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA) has published some excellent guidance regarding delivery personnel and people from other service businesses who come to your jewelry business. JSA's recommendations include:
- Whenever possible, do not admit delivery personnel into your facility. Have a door or wall slot for the delivery of letters and small parcels. Ask the delivery personnel to leave larger items within the vestibule entry of a double-door system.
- If possible, have all of the jewelry business's staff members become familiar with the names and appearances of delivery personnel who regularly come to the business.
- Learn about the proper identification and uniforms that delivery personnel, trades people, and other service providers to your store should have.
- If an unfamiliar service-business employee makes an unscheduled visit, ask to see an I.D. and a phone number that you may call to confirm the individual's legitimacy. Use an internet search or telephone operator assistance to confirm the legitimacy of the phone number before calling to confirm the identity of the individual.
- If possible, avoid admitting a visitor when you are alone in the place of business.
- Do not admit a stranger before or after regular business hours.