Florida Jeweler Reopens Following $15 Million Theft

A
Florida jeweler reopened its doors March 11 following a theft of $15 million
worth of inventory.

Rob
Samuels, owner and president of Provident Jewelry, tells JCK the Jupiter, Fla.,
location reopened six weeks after thieves broke into the store’s class-two vault sometime
between Jan. 22 and Jan. 24 and swiped almost all of the inventory. 

“My
insurance agent told me that it was the first time a class two vault has been
breached in the U.S.,” Samuels says.

The
store’s security was reevaluated and reinforced. Samuels says that, prior to
the theft, the store had a comprehensive security system with 15 surveillance
cameras, motion detectors, and line security.

“There’s
not a system built out there that someone else can’t get into. Systems are
built by man and they can be broken into by man,” he says. “That’s why
insurance is a must.”

Samuels
filed an insurance claim immediately after the theft. While it’s not the first
time he’s made an insurance claim, he says it’s the first of this magnitude.

“The
insurance company is still processing everything. They gave us a small amount
to get started with,” he says. The store has been able to use inventory from
its other locations to replace roughly 70 percent of the lost inventory.

The
store suffered moderate damage due to the burglary. Investigators say someone
entered the store through an adjacent unit. The investigation is ongoing. “For
the first few weeks, we were handling damages to the property,” Samuels says.

Samuels
says all of the six Provident Jewelry locations have had security and insurance
check-ups. “We’ve made improvements in all of the locations and some of the
locations have addressed insurance coverage.”

Samuels
stresses the importance of keeping good records, reviewing insurance coverage,
and keeping track of inventory.

“If
there is a major loss, insurance companies will definitely want you to prove
everything,” he says.

Looking
to the future, Samuels says the store has a lot of buying power available to purchase
new inventory. “The one positive thing out of this is you get to start with a
relatively fresh slate.”

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