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HELPING JEWELERS BE SAFE, SECURE, AND SUCCESSFUL

The Clarity Blog

Jewelry Crime Report: Widespread Scams Targeting Jewelers

on Jul 12, 2017 2:29 PM

Map of Unites States 

Crime Reported No Crime Reported

Have you ever received a suspicious phone call or email from an unfamiliar person who requests jewelry to be shipped overnight?

This scenario may seem fraudulent as you read it or hear about it, but given the right context, the person on the other end can sound quite convincing. Lately, the Jewelers' Security Alliance has been alerted to numerous incidents of fraudulent activity where criminals know a great deal about the businesses they are calling and the companies they claim to represent.

What's even more alarming is that some criminals pose as clients or co-workers and are so in-tune with a company's procedures that they can successfully convince staff members to fulfill a shipment without thinking twice. Once the package is shipped, they will try to reroute it to a different address and pocket the merchandise from there.

In addition to the typical threats of smash-and-grab robberies and grab-and-run thefts that have plagued the jewelry industry recently, scams targeting jewelers is another challenge to contend with. Whether it be check or credit card fraud, or even social engineering scenarios described above, these crimes can be committed by criminals on the other side of the country.

That means jewelers everywhere need to take extra precaution in addition to the measures already being taken to prevent robberies, burglaries, and thefts.

Before diving into some of the specific incidents that have recently occurred, take a look at how the latest jewelry crime report breaks down:

2017.07.10 Jewelry Crime report - by state.png 

 2017.07.10 Jewelry Crime report - by type.png

Data compiled from jewelerssecurity.org 

Now, here's an in-depth look at five particular crimes, with tips that every jeweler can learn from. Visit JSA's daily blog to get a full recap of all the crimes. 

When Where What
Saturday, June 24 San Francisco, CA Grab-and-Run Theft
Saturday, June 24 Moore, OK Switch Theft
Sunday, June 18 Santa Ana, CA Smash-and-Grab Robbery
Saturday, June 17 Columbia, SC Three Minute Burglary
Thursday, June 8 New York, NY Fraud Theft

 

When Where What
Saturday, June 24 San Francisco, CA Grab-and-Run Theft
Crime Description

At approximately 1:00 p.m., the suspect pictured below fled from a jewelry store while examining a luxury watch.

grab and run suspect

Photo courtesy of JSA

If you have any information about this crime, contact the Jewelers’ Security Alliance at (212) 687-0328.

 


Tip!

 Luxury watches are still commonly target by criminals. Upgrading to high quality security cameras can make it easier to identify and apprehend suspects.

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When Where What
Saturday, June 24 Moore, OK Switch Theft
Crime Description

A jewelry store in Moore, OK was the most recent site of a switch theft committed by a pair of suspects that have committed three other crimes in Texas and Oklahoma dating back only as far as May 24 in Arlington, TX.

The other two crimes occurred on June 9 in Dallas, TX and June 23 in Oklahoma City, OK.

In each incident, the couple asked to view engagement rings and during the presentation, the male suspect would leave the store first. In some instances he had claimed to leave his wallet in their car and as he went to retrieve it, the female suspect followed closely behind after the switch was already made.

switch theft suspects

Photo courtesy of JSA

The male suspect has worn sunglasses during each crime. Both are described as Hispanic and in their late twenties. The male is reportedly 5'9" and 180 pounds; the female is 5'7" and 150 pounds.

If you have any information about this crime, contact the Jewelers’ Security Alliance at (212) 687-0328.

 


Tip!

Carefully reexamine any items handled by customers using a loupe or other testing device.


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When Where What
Sunday, June 18 Santa Ana, CA Smash-and-Grab Robbery
Crime Description

At approximately 2:13 p.m., three suspects appearing to be Hispanic men in their early twenties entered a jewelry store located within a supermarket. All three were wearing dark clothing and had bandanas with skulls covering their faces.

One suspect smashed the cases, while one grabbed the jewelry and the other kept watch. As seen in surveillance video shared by the Santa Ana Police Department, the suspects fled the store and were chased by the owner who wielded a baseball bat.

 

 

The stolen merchandise consisted of a tray of gold wedding bands. 

Anyone with information on any of the suspects in this crime are asked to contact Officer C. Donahue at 714-245-8268, [email protected] or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.

 


Tip!

For your own safety — and the safety of your staff and customers — do not retaliate during a robbery.

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When Where What
Saturday, June 17 Columbia, SC Three Minute Burglary
Crime Description

26 pairs of gold earrings were stolen when a lone male suspect broke into a jewelry store around 10:00 p.m.

After shattering the glass of the front door, surveillance video shows him carrying a hammer and examining which showcases contained jewelry.

If you have any information about this crime, contact the Jewelers’ Security Alliance at (212) 687-0328.

 


Tip!

Put away as much merchandise as possible to limit a potential burglary loss, but also remember that covering up items is not a crime deterrent.

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When Where What
Thursday, June 8 New York, NY Fraud Theft
Crime Description

The suspect pictured below attempted to open an in-store line of credit to buy luxury watches.

fraud suspect

The sales associate assisting him examined his drivers license and bank card and noticed that the that the expiration date on his license was off by one day when compared with an identification checking guide.

The store contacted the New York Police Department and the suspect attempted to flee as they arrived, but was quickly apprehended.

 


Tip!

There are numerous warning signs of in-store check and credit card fraud, such as inconsistent forms of identification.

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