Sandy Thalheimer was the first of three jewelry store owners
in the United States to fire his gun on suspected thieves during a robbery since the
beginning of February.
Thalheimer, who owns Thalheimers Jewelers in Naples, Fla., opened
fire Feb. 8 when he noticed masked men robbing a jewelry delivery man in
the parking lot of his store, according to the Naples Daily News.
Thalhimer reportedly shot five rounds and the suspects fired
In addition, a store owner in the Bronx, N.Y., pulled out
his firearm when a woman demanding merchandise put
a gun to his head Feb. 17, according to the New York Post.
Anthony Spinelli, owner of Spinelli & Son, told the
Post he grabbed his weapon and began shooting after the woman revealed her gun.
The woman and two other suspects fled the store, but Spinelli followed, hitting
one suspect in the left leg.
Finally, the owner of Prive Manufacturing Jewelers in
Lafayette, Calif., shot
two men who attempted to rob his store Feb. 19, according to a local news
Two suspects had come into the store, and allegedly smashed
some cases. The owner thought the noise was gunfire and shot at the suspects.
According to the report, one of the men was hit.
Despite these incidents, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance
recommends that jewelers do not keep guns in the store. “While there are cases
of jewelers successfully pulling a gun and shooting the robber, these are the
exceptions,” says the JSA’s Manual of Jewelry Security, noting that when a
jeweler pulls out a gun they risk getting themselves or an innocent person
killed. “Jewelers need insurance, not
guns, to protect themselves from a loss if they do have a robbery.”
“Legal problems can also arise from merely firing your gun
in certain circumstances or from illegal possession of a gun,” the Manual adds.
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