Criminals are Still Using False Alarms to Lull Jewelers to Sleep
They’re at it again. We’re seeing more burglary cases involving criminals who repeatedly trigger false alarms to desensitize jewelers, alarm companies, and law enforcement agencies to the alarm’s warnings.
Then, the criminals burglarize the store after they’ve observed a relaxation of the response — particularly, the store owner’s discontinuation of the practice of meeting an alarm-company guard or the police at the store and unlocking the premises to allow for a thorough walk-through investigation.
The criminals using this tactic often gain entry by cutting an opening through the roof, an effort that usually requires a few nights’ work.
When a rash of these types of crimes occurred in late 2011 and early 2012, Jewelers Mutual alerted the jewelry industry with communications such as the article appearing on page 12 of the February/March 2012 edition of The Retail Jeweler.
To combat those crimes, Jewelers Mutual commissioned the services of a private investigator and collaborated with the FBI to investigate. The effort led to the arrest and conviction of nearly 20 members of a crime gang.
Today, we’re periodically seeing these types of crimes again. Whether the result of new crime-gang activity or freelancers borrowing a page out of the playbook, criminals turn to this tactic that relies on jewelers’ complacency.
Don’t fall for this trick! Adopt these best practices regarding burglar alarm systems and the appropriate responses to an alarm:
- Use a UL-certified central station alarm system with line security at your facility. These systems continually check the communications between the store alarm and the monitoring facility. If the signal disconnects, an alarm is triggered. Want to take it up a level? Consider dual-monitoring.
- Respond to each and every alarm condition. Don’t assume repeated false alarms are the result of a technical glitch. They may very well be the result of criminals’ testing of your vigilance and resolve.
- Video-surveillance systems can help with both deterrence an identification of criminals.
- Be cautious. Don’t arrive at your store in response to an alarm until you are accompanied by the guard or police officer dispatched to investigate. If the alarm company or police call you and ask you to come to your business, confirm the caller’s identification and legitimacy before going.