3 Essential Precautions to Reduce the Chance of a Robbery
You may hear people in the jewelry industry say that there’s nothing you can do to stop a robbery, and this is true. Regarding what to do during a robbery, the best advice is to comply with the robber’s demands. Compliance and remaining calm will keep you, your staff, and your customers safe.
The good news is that you can take steps to prevent a robbery. Research and crime statistics tell us that nearly all robberies are preceded by some type of casing.
Consequently, jewelry business operators and employees must know what casing behaviors look like. Identifying casing behaviors and having a procedure in place to discourage this behavior will help you ward off a planned crime against your business.
Consider all three of these essential precautions to reduce the chance of a robbery at your business:
Gauge the legitimacy of each customer
Most customers will come into your store with a specific goal in mind. They will explain what they’re looking for and their budget. If someone who comes into your store appears more interested in your physical layout and security system than your merchandise, be aware. This is a warning sign of robbery.
Anyone who asks you unusual or odd questions about your opening or closing procedures, staffing levels, alarm, or surveillance systems may be trying to gain information to help plan a robbery. Do not be lulled into complacency!
Be wary of someone who asks to see your most expensive item or wants to see a wide variety of merchandise. This could mean your “customer” is attempting to identify what to steal.
Be cautious of people wearing dark sunglasses, hats, or hoodies, as they may be trying to disguise their identity. In general, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
Make your building undesirable for criminals
When potential criminals case a building, they’re looking for easy access and lax security procedures. Follow these tips to reduce your chances of having criminals target your location:
- Keep your front doors and windows clear of obstructions, so employees can see suspicious persons outside and passersby can see inside.
- Use a video system that has both overt and concealed cameras. Post signs announcing that you have a surveillance system, that images are recorded 24 hours a day, and that footage is monitored off site.
- Consider burglary-resistant glass for your showcase sides, fronts and tops. This will slow down a robber and can reduce your loss.
- Spread high-value merchandise throughout your showroom instead of gathering these items together in one area. Consider having a buzzer entry system or an audible door chime, so you’re always aware when someone enters or exits the premises.
- Consider hiring a guard during times of high risk, such as trunk shows, special events, or high-traffic periods. If possible, the guard should be an armed, off-duty, and uniformed police officer.
- Always have at least two employees on the sales floor, and greet each customer who enters. Ask questions: Whom are you shopping for? What items would you like to see?
Have a code word
Use a code word or phrase to alert staff of a suspicious situation. Make sure all employees know the code word or phrase. When an associate uses the code word or phrase, an employee should visibly leave the premises carrying and dialing a phone. While customers likely won’t notice, this move could make an individual with criminal intent think twice.