Atlanta Jeweler Home Invasion Shows Need for Precautions

An incident at an Atlanta jeweler’s home again underlines the need for jewelers to keep tight security at their residences, says the Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA), which is offering a reward for information about the case.

According to police in Cobb County, Ga., at around 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 16, two armed men followed the manager of Atlanta-based Ice Box Jewelry to his home. They accosted the manager and his wife, forced them inside the residence, and tied them up.

The JSA says the manager gave the men the keys to the store as well as access codes to its safes and alarms. One man left and then burglarized the store along with an accomplice, resulting in a “huge loss” of jewelry.

The remaining robber took some jewelry and cash from the residence before leaving the couple tied up. The victims were not injured.

JSA president John Kennedy says that while, fortunately, home invasions are not common, they do occur.

“In a given year, it’s usually one or two, though sometimes there is a crew that does a bunch of them,” he says.

JSA gives the following tips for jewelers to keep their homes safe, and Kennedy notes most of them are good basic residential security as well:

–  Jewelers should vary their routes when traveling between their home and jewelry business. They should periodically check if they are being followed.

– Jewelers should insure that their home or business is not being cased. One red flag: Parked cars with passengers sitting near their store or home for a long time.

– All homes should have appropriate locks, alarms, and lighting. The JSA recommends a Nest Cam or Ring indoor and outdoor security system, which can provide live surveillance and retrievable video.

– Everyone in a jeweler’s home should know and follow proper security procedures. They should not open the door to unknown people, use caution when letting in delivery personnel and check to see if they are using a company vehicle, not give out information over the phone, be alert to suspicious persons who could be casing their house, and have a household security word to communicate danger among family members.

– Jewelry merchandise should never be brought home.

– Jewelers should not have a large or visible safe in their residence.

– Workers in the jewelry industry should keep a key fob and cell phone by their nightstands. If they hear sounds or suspect possible intruders, they should hit the key fob panic alarm.

– A dog can help alert residents to intruders and possibly scare them away.

–  Jewelers should make sure they have proper information about any household help or workers in their home.

– Industry workers and their families should limit the amount of information they post on social media such as Facebook and Instagram. They shouldn’t post pictures or information about their homes, cars, locations, or vacation and travel plans. They should also be careful posting family photos or family information.

– In certain cases, criminals have placed GPS devices under jewelers’ cars to track their movements. Jewelers can visibly inspect under their cars or purchase a GPS tracking device.

– And, finally, if the worst happens and an invasion does occur, the JSA always recommends that people not resist and comply with the robbers’ instructions. Merchandise is typically insured and can be replaced. People cannot.

Other tips can be seen here.

The JSA is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspects in this case or the recovery of the stolen jewelry. The JSA Reward Hotline is 800-325-1883. Tipsters can remain anonymous and still collect the award. More information can be seen here.

Information can also be provided to the Cobb County Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit, phone: 770-499-3495, email: cobbpolicecrimetips@cobbcounty.org.

Top: Surveillance photo of the robbery at Ice Box (courtesy of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance)

JCK News Director