A security system saved Leigh Jewelers in Vero Beach, Fla. from
an attempted armed robbery on Nov. 17.
Police say Jamie Grant attempted to enter the store around
3:15 p.m. Owner Mark Leigh told JCK
that employees noticed Grant near the door wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, a
mask and gloves. According to the police report, while attempting to gain entry
to the store, Grant pulled the door with his left hand and kept his right hand
concealed inside the front pocket of his sweatshirt.
When Grant was unable to gain entry to the store, he turned
and ran back to a car down the street. “We gave police a good description of
the car and the suspect and they captured him very soon after,” Leigh says.
Vero Beach detectives spotted the suspect’s car on Ocean
Drive and conducted a traffic stop. Upon their approach, detectives spotted a
gun in the car and arrested Grant. Grant was charged with attempted armed
robbery while wearing a mask and possession of a firearm with an altered serial
“We’re very happy with the way it turned out,” Leigh says.
“The police caught the perpetrator and no one was harmed.” Leigh said the store
had a smash and grab a few years ago but had not experienced anything with
armed weapons in 38 years of business.
The store installed a buzz on the door for more security at
the beginning of the year. “At first customers were agitated with the system
but as the customers became accustomed to the buzzer they understood the
importance of it,” Leigh says.
John Kennedy, president of Jewelers Security Alliance, advocates stores installing door buzzers. “It has a deterrent value for
criminals because they see the extra security measures,” Kennedy told JCK.
Kennedy notes that observing a masked man outside of a store
doesn’t happen often and it’s still very difficult for stores to choose who to
buzz in the store. “You can’t exclude people on categories that may be
discriminatory, but it’s still of value because you can keep a guy with a mask
on out of the store.”
Leigh said the attempted robbery hasn’t really affected the
store. “We are taking more precautions with security measures.”