Jewelry Crime Blotter: Week of Oct. 7



A weekly roundup of jewelry store crimes with related tips from JCK:

– On Oct. 6 in the Philippines, three people were killed and eight others were wounded after a robber threw a fragmentation grenade into a crowd of bystanders during a jewelry store heist.

Police apprehended the alleged grenade thrower, Bashir Basilon, who was trying to distract from his gang’s getaway after robbing the Primarosa Jewelry Shop and Joey’s Watch Repair Shop.

A security guard was killed when he attempted to shoot it out with at least six robbers. Four of those robbers were wounded during the shootout and rushed to the hospital. Two other unidentified men were also killed in the gunfight. 

Police said the robbery began at 4:15 p.m., as six robbers stormed the shops and used sledgehammers to smash the display counters. The suspects fled on foot after swiping the jewelry, and were chased by bystanders.

The crime is still under investigation and police are still on the hunt for the missing robbers.

– On Oct. 6, New York City police released surveillance images of a group of robbers wanted for two jewelry store heists.

The three male robbers—two were dressed in flourescent yellow reflective vests—robbed Crown Jewelers International on Aug. 24. Two of the three then robbed Kenjo Jewelers the next day.

During the first crime, the men pistol-whipped a clerk, smashed the display cases with a hammer, grabbed an undisclosed amount of jewelry, and fled in a black Chevy Suburban.  

The next day, the robbers forced an employee to open the display cases at gun point, after the pair had failed to smash them with a rubber mallet. Once again, they made off with an undetermined amount of merchandise.

The suspects are all described as black, 25–30 years old and anywhere from 5’ 8″ to 6’. Anyone with information should call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers tipline at 800-577-TIPS.

The Manual of Jewelry Security suggests jewelers obey the orders of robbers. Do not say or do anything, or even raise your hands, unless told to do so. “Cooperate fully and try not to panic,” according to the manual.

– Police in Manhattan, Kan., arrested a J.C. Penney worker who allegedly stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from the store and attempted to sell it to local pawnshops.

The man was identified as Michael Miller, a former dockworker for the company, and he was arrested at his apartment Wednesday morning.

Police said he stole a package worth $9,098 that was headed to the jewelry counter and store floor displays. He then tried to sell some of the jewelry to Manhattan Pawn and Wildcat Pawn, claiming he was the lawful owner of the merchandise.

J.C. Penney fired him when it realized the shipment was missing. Miller is being held on charges of theft and making false information.

JCK covered how to catch an internal thief in its February 2008 issue