Wash. Jeweler’s Home Invaded, Armed Thieves Rob Store

Three gunmen invaded the home of a Kennewick, Wash., jewelry
store co-owner and took an undetermined amount of merchandise from the store
Feb. 9.

Three masked and armed suspects forced entry to Touchstone
Jewelry co-owner Mark Welsh’s home around 6:30 p.m. just after the store closed
Feb. 9. Two of the suspects took Welsh back to the jewelry store, where they took an
undetermined amount of jewelry.

“The tone of it was everything was insured and if they cooperated everything would be fine,” Captain Trevor White of the Kennewick
Police department tells JCK. “The
suspects were described as polite.”

The third suspect stayed at the home with Welsh’s family.
White says no one was injured.

After the theft, the two suspects returned Welsh to his home
and took off in his pickup truck, which was later discovered abandoned nearby.

Police were not able to obtain any surveillance from the
jewelry store and so far no suspects have been identified.

“We believe that the suspects followed him home or they
gathered intelligence before the incident,” White says.

White says there have been several incidents where thieves
have entered jewelry stores after closing. “Nothing in my recollection involves
a kidnapping or an organized move back to the jewelry store.”

According to John Kennedy, president of the Jewelers’
Security Alliance, incidents like this happen four to six times a year. “It’s
relatively uncommon, but it’s not rare,” he says. “It can be very dangerous, if
you’re threatening the family, things can go wrong.”

The JSA recommends jewelers vary their travel route from the
store to their home and make sure they are not being watched or followed and
install proper security to their homes including proper alarms, locks, and
lighting.

In addition, the JSA recommends jewelers should alert all
family members not to open the door to unknown persons and keep phone numbers
unlisted and be sure their home phone numbers and home addresses can’t be located on Google or other search engines.