News & Press: Member News

Cutting the Power: A New Trend in Jewelry Store Burglaries

Tuesday, July 9, 2019  
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By Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group

It’s after hours and you have armed your alarm for the evening. Later you receive a system notification from your burglar alarm company, how would you respond?

Would you brush it off as a false alarm? Or neglect to check on the business? If so, you’ll want to change your response due to the recent rash of power-cutting burglaries.

Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) has issued reports of more than 30-plus reported incidents in which burglars have generated power surges or cut the power lines to attempt to disable alarms. These incidents have occurred in seven states and Canada.

The burglars cut the power after the store has closed and then wait to see if the owner and/or police respond. If the alarm service dispatched police arrive, they will wait for the owner to arrive. If the owner or their authorized associate fail to arrive, the police officer will leave. After the police leave, the burglars break into the store by either cutting through the roof or through a common wall shared with an adjacent, usually unprotected, property. Once inside the store, they can attack the safe by either cutting into it with a saw or torch. In some of the recent instances, the safes have not been attacked.

Responding to thoroughly investigate the source of all instances of power interruptions at your store is critical. Here are six tips to make sure your store remains secure in the wake of these attacks:

  1. Update your call list so the burglar alarm system notifications can be responded to promptly.
  2. Arrange to meet the police at your protected property when responding to any alarm notification. You don't want to arrive alone.
  3. Alert the police that burglars could be observing or waiting in a nearby area.
  4. Double-check that your roof/plenum area between your hung ceiling and the roof and common walls shared with adjacent properties are protected.
  5. Confirm that your burglar alarm system has operational line security to protect the store if the burglar alarm communication path between the protected premises and the monitoring facility should be compromised.
  6. Make sure your safe(s) provide adequate physical protection. Burglary resistant, UL-rated TL 15 and TL 30 safes have recently been targeted in these attacks and have been compromised.

Looking for more security and loss prevention tips? Subscribe to Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group’s Clarity Blog. You’ll find valuable tips, tools and information aimed at helping the jewelry industry run more secure and successful businesses.


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