Jewelry Crime Blotter: Week of Nov. 4

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

– Four armed men with hammers robbed a jewelry store in Wilmington, Del., on Nov. 1.

The men got into Stuart Kingston Jewelry Store by hiding behind one of the thieves, who was buzzed in by the store’s owner thinking he was a customer. The robbers rushed into the store, demanded to be shown the valuables in the vault, duct-taped the owner’s and his employees’ hands, and smashed the display cases. They made off with an undisclosed amount of jewelry and cash, but the owner reported the loss to be significant. No one was injured.

Police are reviewing the surveillance video for possible leads. Anyone with information should contact the Wilmington Police Dept. at 302-576-3606 or 800-TIP-3333.

The Jewelers Security Alliance’s Manual of Jewelry Security suggests jewelers can reduce their losses from smash-and-grabs by using burglary-resistant glazing material for showcases, which will greatly slow down a smash-and-grab thief. Slowing thieves down puts time on the side of the jeweler because robbers want to flee quickly. In an armed robbery like the one described above, jewelers should cooperate fully with the robbers, and try not to panic.

– Local police apprehended one man suspected of an armed robbery of a jewelry store that resulted in the shooting of a police officer in Phoenix on Nov. 4.

Jonathan Corrales was arrested for allegedly taking part in a robbery of a local jewelry store on Oct. 28. He is facing charges including aggravated assault, armed robbery and attempted second-degree murder.

Police are still searching for the second suspect, Adan Orduno, who they believe drove the getaway car. Police said Corrales entered the store and posed as interested customers. After the jeweler refused to bring out more merchandise, believing the men would flee with it, the suspects tried to escape. The jeweler was able to lock the door before one of thieves was able to escape.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Phoenix Police Dept. or 480-948-6377.

– Police in South Attleboro, R.I., are searching for a suspect that stole a $7,000 diamond bracelet off of a clerk’s wrist on Nov. 2.

The robber pretended to be a customer interested in buying the bracelet, so an employee of Northeast Jewelers put the bracelet on his wrist to showcase it. After the thief swiped it, two employees of the store ran after him but weren’t able to catch up to him. They were able to identify the getaway car, a two-tone Jeep Grand Cherokee with Delaware license plates.   

Police said the suspect is a white man, about 5-foot-11, weighing about 200 pounds and wore a gray-hooded sweatshirt and a gray Red Sox baseball cap.

Anyone with information should call 508-222-1212.

The Manual suggests jewelers tell unfamiliar customers that their insurance requires you to ask for identification before displaying high-end goods. Jewelers should also make eye contact with each customer who enters the store, greet him or her, and note his or her appearance.