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7 Practical Tips for Preventing Smash-and-Grab Robberies

Smash-and-grab jewelry store robberies are increasing in frequency and severity in the U.S. and Canada. These are often high-profile, brazen attacks that happen quickly and result in high-dollar losses. If you’ve ever seen surveillance footage of one, it almost appears as though nothing could have been done to stop it—but that’s not always the case.

After casing a variety of jewelry businesses, criminals know a soft target when they see one.

Follow these seven tips for preventing smash-and-grab robberies to avoid making your business a hard target and discourage criminals from attempting it at your location.

How to Prevent Smash-and-Grab Robberies

  1. Keep your front doors and windows clear of obstructions, so employees can see suspicious persons outside and passersby can see inside.
  2. Use a video surveillance system that has both overt and concealed cameras. Post signs announcing that you have a surveillance system recording images 24 hours a day, with footage monitored and stored off-site. Make sure your security plan is discouraging criminals by ordering free store security signage from Jewelers Mutual Group.
  3. Consider installing burglary-resistant glass for your showcase sides, fronts and tops. This material will slow down an attack. Since robbers want to be in and out as fast as possible, it may even prevent them from accessing your merchandise. Jewelers Mutual works closely with National Glazing Solutions (NGS) Films and Graphics to provide negotiated pricing on products to strengthen your showcases. To get started, fill out the online inquiry form or email jewelers@filmsandgraphics.com.
  4. Spread high-value merchandise throughout your showroom and showcases instead of displaying these items together in one area.
  5. Consider having a mantrap or door buzzer entry system so you’re able to control access to the premises, or at the very least, be aware when someone enters or exits. Keep your employees informed on how to properly admit customers and deal with suspicious incidents.

Here are a few things to consider discussing with your insurance agent:

      • Who has the final authority to admit or deny a person at the door?
      • What reasons will they give for not granting access to your business?
      • Will the police be contacted immediately, or will the incident be reported to a crime network?
      • What will your business’s response be in the event of negative publicity?
      • Will staff be prepared if a crime still occurs?
  1. Hiring a guard during times of high risk, such as trunk shows, special events, or high-traffic periods can be a major deterrent for criminals. If possible, the guard should be an armed, off-duty, and uniformed police officer.

    By selecting a reputable security guard service, you can trust that the guards you work with are certified and licensed by the state and comply with necessary requirements.

    Jewelers Mutual Group works with Securitas to provide on-site guarding services. To learn more, send an inquiry email to Randy Querry at randy.querry@securitasinc.com or call 714-920-9201.

    Having an armed guard may cost extra but, considering the severity of crimes in the jewelry industry, they are well worth the investment.
  2. Always have multiple employees on the sales floor. One should always be greeting the customers as they enter, and others should be providing ongoing customer service. An actual customer will enjoy the attention they’ve received, but a criminal might feel uncomfortable and leave.

Here are a few tips on adopting consistent meet-and-greet practices:

  • Offer a quick hello and make eye contact.
  • Ask questions about the person they are shopping for and if it’s a special occasion.
  • Watch for anyone wearing sunglasses, baggy garments or something not appropriate for the season as they may help conceal their identity.
  • Pay extra attention to groups of three or more as people don’t typically shop for jewelry in large groups.
Remember, your staff will need to repeatedly practice safety tips to form consistent procedural security. Don’t leave their practicing to chance—learn more on how you can keep your jewelry store safe by reviewing A Jeweler’s Guide 24/7 Security provided by the loss prevention experts at Jewelers Mutual Group.