It appears jewelers now face a new high-tech threat from criminals.
Police in Overland Park, Kan., arrested a suspect who allegedly burglarized a jewelry store owner at her home after tracking her with GPS devices.
According to a local news report, Steven Glaze is being charged with 14 counts of burglary and theft for allegedly stealing more than $300,000 worth of merchandise from the home of Zoe Herrington, owner of Noble House Jewelry. He is currently free on a $100,000 bond. Glaze is maintaining his innocence, claiming he bought the stolen goods from someone else, and was not the perpetrator of the crime.
Herrington says that GPS tracking devices were put under her and her son’s cars, and a suspect broke into her home during the day when she wasn’t there. Her home security system did not activate during the crime.
She offered up some tips for jewelers on how to avoid being the victims of a similar crime:
- When leaving work, take a different route home each day.
- Pull your car into the garage at night.
- Take pictures of high worth items in your home for insurance purposes. Leave very valuable pieces of jewelry at the store and get additional jewelry insurance.
- If there are any contractors/people working on your home, make sure you obtain a security report on them, their contact information, and copies of their driver’s licenses.
- Have a code word for all family members to use in case of emergencies.
- Never answer your door unless you have invited someone to your home.
- Have a code word for employees to use when they suspect someone is casing the store or that criminal activity might take place.
- Have a “suspicious activity” book at the store. Write down date, description of suspicious activity, description of the person(s), make/model of their car(s), and license plate information.
- Ensure your home/business security alarm includes a U.L. equivalent rating covered by U.L. 365 or U.L. 1610 where the installed burglar-alarm systems transmission means are designated as Standard Line Security or Encrypted Line Security. Polling frequency (i.e. supervised heartbeat/pulse) must be transmitted at least every 300 seconds.
- Ensure that all employees read the criminal activity reports sent to the store. Most insurance companies will automatically fax these reports.
- Don’t profile. Perpetrators come in every size, shape, and color.
- Finally, read JCK‘s forthcoming June issue, which includes a crime package chock full of tips to keep your employees, store, and customers safe.