“Grab and Runs” on the Rise

The customer could be someone you know. He might have visited your store before. He may be neat and well-mannered. Then he asks to see two watches, to “compare them in better light.” And once he gets his hands on them, he bolts for the door.It’s called a “grab and run”—and so far this year, it’s occurred once a day on average, according to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, the New York City–based industry crime-prevention group.“They have been soaring for the last few years, and they are continuing to soar,” says JSA president John Kennedy, noting that they are among the hardest types of thefts to prevent. The crimes have occurred in 35 states, most frequently in Texas, California, and Florida. While the majority of losses fall between $5,000 and $20,000, others have reached $200,000.Kennedy blames the recession for this recent spike: “They are one of the few kinds

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