As jewelry professionals, we know practicing safety is a large part of your day-to-day work. For example, you probably have procedures set in place to help eliminate vulnerabilities that come with opening and closing shop. But what about when criminals are hiding as customers in plain sight, lurking around your business for any sign of weakness in your security measures?
This kind of activity is called casing and is usually the first indicator that your jewelry store is at risk of being burglarized. Luckily, we’ve got five signs for you and your employees to look for if your store is being cased.
Firstly, be on alert if a customer seems to be more curious about your operations than usual. For example, let’s say a customer asks you something like, “So, how many people get stuck working this late on a Saturday?” Even if it seems like a harmless or genuine question, always be discreet if a customer is asking about your typical operations. The less information they know, the better.
In addition to asking unnecessary questions, be on the lookout for customers who seem nervous and fidgety. This kind of behavior while browsing high-value items in a jewelry store is likely an indicator that this person has an ulterior motive for visiting your store.
Pay attention to what your customer is actually interested in. Perhaps you show them a stunning, new piece of jewelry, but they seem more concerned with the display fixture it was encased in. Beware if this happens, as it could indicate the undercover customer is assessing ways to get into your cases and displays.
When greeting a customer, you might ask if they are looking for something specific or if they are interested in seeing certain kinds of pieces. If a customer responds vaguely or seems unsure, it may be wise to take this as a red flag. Vagueness can be a clue they may be interested in one thing; stealing.
Criminals want to avoid attention as much as possible, so it’s helpful to make eye contact, introduce yourself, and ask the customer for their name. If they seem hesitant upon these simple gestures and requests, make a mental note. Write down a description of their appearance and the vehicle they drive, if possible.
By recognizing the warning signs of casing, you can take steps to keep your jewelry store safe and secure. Stay vigilant, and don’t be afraid to contact law enforcement or your security company if you notice anything suspicious. For more helpful information on how to safeguard your business, look to our extensive 24/7 Jeweler Security Guide as a free and trusted resource.