A jeweler in Riverside, Calif., was awakened at 2 a.m. on Aug. 19 when three male suspects with guns cut a window screen and entered his home.
The Jewelers’ Security Alliance reports that when the jeweler awoke, the men put a gun to his head, tied him up, and demanded the keys to his store and the store’s alarm code and safe combination.
The jeweler was held hostage by one of the armed men, while the other two drove his car to his store. The robbers maintained contact on the phone throughout.
The suspects cleared out the store of merchandise, including customer repairs, and also took the entire DVR surveillance system.
The Jewelers’ Security Alliance has published a 10-point list for all jewelers detailing ways to prevent a home-invasion robbery:
1. Vary your route and time when traveling between home and your jewelry business. Check occasionally to see if you are being followed.
2. Be watchful to see if your residence or business is being cased. Are cars with one or more persons inside parked near work or home for long periods of time?
3. Make sure your home has appropriate locks, alarms, and lighting.
4. Train others in your family and household on security procedures for your home: Don’t open the door to unknown persons; use great caution with delivery personnel. Is the person using a company vehicle? Don’t give out information on the phone. Keep eyes open for suspicious persons who may be casing. Have a household security code word that can be used to communicate danger to other family members without having strangers realize the alert.
5. Do not have a large or visible safe at home, and do not bring jewelry merchandise home.
6. Keep your car key fob and cell phone by your night table. If you hear sounds or have suspicions of possible intruders, hit the panic alarm on your car key fob.
7. Get a dog, which can help to alert you of, and possibly scare away, intruders.
8. Do you know enough about any household help or workers who may come into your home?
9. Limit the amount of information that you or your family make available on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms. Do not post pictures or information regarding your residence, your vehicle, your location, your family, vacations, or travel plans.
10. There have been cases in which criminals have placed a GPS device under a jeweler’s vehicle to track the jeweler’s movements. You can visibly inspect under your car to try to spot such a device or you can purchase and use a GPS detection device.