Jewelry Crime Blotter Week of Sept. 9

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

– On Sept. 3, a group of thieves used children as a diversionary tactic to rob a jewelry store in Natick, Mass.

This past Saturday, five adults entered Kay Pee Jewelers, and then distracted the store’s employees while one of the women sneaked into a back office and grabbed a handful of precious merchandise.

The amount of jewelry stolen is undetermined and no one was injured in the robbery. Police are investigating and believe that a hunter or dark green minivan or a white four-door sedan were used as the getaway cars. Police say the plate on the minivan is an out of state plate with light, or even white background and dark letters. The first characters are either 65F or 63F.  

The Jewelers Security Alliance calls this case a classic gypsy distraction theft. JSA suggests that whenever a large group of people enter your store at the same time, the greatest caution is required. All employees should focus their attention on the movements of the group, and no access can be permitted to back rooms, safes, and open showcases.

– On Sept. 6, a police officer was shot in a botched robbery attempt of a jewelry store in Woburn, Mass.

One suspect has been arrested, but as many as three armed robbers remain at large.

The shooting occurred Tuesday morning at Mustoas Jewelers. Two men were buzzed into the store and tried to rob it. Officer Robert Denapoli was nearby, heard what was taking place, and rushed to the scene. One of the thieves shot at him and hit him in the leg. 

Police say Denapoli’s injuries were serious, but not life threatening. The suspect who was arrested was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.

Police are now on the hunt for three people, including a white or Hispanic man weighing about 160 pounds and a Hispanic woman. The getaway car was reportedly a dark color.

– On Sept. 8, a jewelry store in Ewing, N.J., was robbed at gunpoint.

The armed robber entered Joe the Jeweler just before noon on Thursday, took out a handgun, and made off with an undisclosed amount of money. The jeweler made an attempt to chase the suspect, but couldn’t catch up to him.

No shots were fired and no injuries reported. Police described the suspect as a black male, 6 feet or taller, wearing a dark gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jogging pants, and armed with a semi-automatic handgun.

JSA recommends that jewelers not chase suspects during a robbery.