News & Press: Member News

What to Do Before, During, and After a Jewelry Store Robbery

Friday, September 13, 2019  
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By Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group

Less than a minute. That’s how long it takes criminals today to attack jewelry businesses and flee—before business owners have time to react.

Preparation is the only way to avoid a traumatic event like this and get through it safely.

A strong set of security procedures and equipment will discourage criminals from targeting you in the first place.


  • Hire a security guard (preferably an armed, off-duty police officer) to deter would-be robbers.
  • Control the entrance of your business with a door buzzer or other screening device.
  • Install secure showcases that resist blows from hammers.
  • Spread high-value merchandise between showcases.
  • Optimize your electronic security by installing surveillance cameras inside and outside your store—you can also order jewelry store security materials to let criminals know you have this equipment in place.
  • Keep a log of suspicious incidents and share them with local police, other jewelers, and the Jewelers' Security Alliance.


If you believe your business isn't just being cased, but about to be robbed, alert your staff by using a predetermined code word or phrase.

This should initiate a procedure where one associate exits with their phone and calls the police. Unfortunately, for smash-and-grab robberies that take place in under a minute, they are often preceded with little or no prior notice.

Everyone has a different "fight or flight" response when something as shocking as a robbery happens, but it's critical that you and your associates do not resist.

Resistance is the most dangerous mistake you can make because it could lead to more than just stolen jewelry—someone could be seriously injured or die.

Here are some specifics of what not to do:

  • Make eye contact, speak, or appear threatening to the robbers
  • Call the police or press a panic button
  • Pursue the robbers after they leave


It's going to be difficult to concentrate after coming face-to-face with a firearm and standing around broken glass.

Download this checklist for a complete list of instructions so you remember what to do and keep these key things in mind.

  • Lock your doors and remain inside (this includes any customers present at the time) until police arrive.
  • Call the police, even if an alarm has been set off.
  • Do not touch anything while waiting for the police — robbers often leave behind fingerprints, blood, or other evidence after breaking showcases.
  • Assist anyone who may have been injured during the robbery.
  • Call your insurance agent and insurance company to report a claim if any merchandise was lost or if property has been damaged.
  • Do not discuss the crime with anyone other than the police or your insurance company.

Even the most prepared business can struggle after a robbery. If your business is insured by Jewelers Mutual, you receive complimentary access to a counselor through the RELI(E)VE program.

To learn more about the program and how to protect your business, send us an email.


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