News & Press: Member News

How to Prevent Grab-and-Run Thefts

Wednesday, June 21, 2017  
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By Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company

man holding jewelryWord spreads fast when a smash-and-grab robbery strikes a mall or a group of masked burglars cut a hole in a rooftop, but many jewelry thefts don’t receive much attention.

That’s unfortunate because theft remains a significant problem facing the jewelry industry. Year after year, the number of these types of crimes reported to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) remains staggering. Each incident may represent a small dollar amount when compared to other types of crimes, but they can add up fast. If you don’t know what type of criminal behavior to be on the lookout for, these crimes will continue to nickel-and-dime (speaking extremely loosely) the industry a few pieces of jewelry at a time.

Jewelers should particularly be alert for grab-and-run thieves. Data from JSA show that these types of thefts are the most common crime to affect the industry. If you’re not familiar with the term “grab-and-run” you can probably tell by the name that the act in itself is fairly straightforward: the thief simply grabs merchandise and runs away with it.

Thankfully, there are three strong warning signs to look out for that can help you prevent this simple action:

  • A criminal will appear to browse merchandise, but not be particularly interested in anything
  • Interactions with store associates are avoided at all costs
  • When the suspect finally ask to see an item, they’ll likely appear nervous or fidgety

Now that you know what behavior generally precedes grab-and-run thefts, it’s time to be proactive in actually preventing the crime from occurring. Here’s what you can do to make sure it doesn’t happen:

  • Meet and greet every potential customer as soon as they set foot in your store
  • Ask to see a customer’s ID before allowing the individual to try on merchandise, no matter what its value is
  • Once you’ve verified that the ID is legitimate, retain it until the customer has returned the piece
  • Under no circumstances should you ever show more than one piece at a time
  • Document suspicious incidents so that if a criminal tries to return when other associates are present, they will know to be extra vigilant

Unfortunately, grab-and-runs are only one type of theft that plagues jewelers. To learn about four more and steps you can take to prevent those too, visit The Clarity Blog. While you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe for a wide variety of tips and advice that can help you run a safe, secure, and successful business!

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Mission Statement

The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.

AGS Laboratories, founded to support the AGS mission, is a nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with a mission of consumer protection. Adhering to the AGS Diamond Grading Standards, AGS Laboratories is dedicated to offering diamond grading reports that provide consistency and accuracy based on science.

American Gem Society