Products That Protect

Jewelry-store security comes in many forms. It can be as simple as locking your door and as complex as a sophisticated video surveillance system. Here’s a look at some of the products that can help you safeguard your merchandise and your store.

JCK recently asked a number of companies to describe any of their new, state-of-the-art security products or services for jewelers. The result is this varied selection of products, ranging from price tags to safes. Some may not appear immediately obvious as crime-preventers, but all offer some kind of protection for a jeweler. For more information about these products, contact the companies (who provided the product information and prices in the descriptions below) at the phone and fax numbers listed.

The Eltron TLP 2242, a new thermal-transfer printer of bar-coded jewelry tags, is distributed by Retail Science Corp., a leading supplier of jewelry store management systems. Bar-coded tags reduce the time to take inventory, allowing more frequent counts and less shrinkage. They also prevent such sales errors as selling an item at the wrong price, says company president William D. Baccich. The polyester-mylar tags are also difficult for pilferers to remove.

The tags, which come in white, gold and other colors, can carry detailed information such as color, cut, clarity and carat weight for diamond goods; gold content, total weight, thickness and weave of a chain; retail price; cost code; secondary stones; manufacturer and bar code. The tags and their data can withstand steam or ultrasonic cleaning while attached to merchandise.

The printer fits on a 5″ x 9″ space, weighs four pounds and prints two tags a second. Its software is compatible with IBM or MAC personal computers. The entire system, including printer, software, a starting set of 200 tags and a year’s warranty, costs $995, a price breakthrough for thermal tag printers, says Baccich. Contact Retail Science Corp., Suite 200, 2882 Cleary Ave., Metaire, La. 70002-6807; (504) 838-6888, fax (504) 887-5291.

Ultimate Solutions I, a dealer in computer software and hardware, has several items which protect jewelers from inventory mishaps and pilferage. The US1 MicroLaser Counting Instrument does piece-by-piece counting of all types of jewelry items, including gold, silver, diamonds, colored gems, and platinum, even to the tiniest, says the firm. It includes two micro-laser readers (mountable on any surface and the same as those used in high-tech security systems); a digital LCD display; a power box and an optional RS-232 serial (computer) interface. It retails for $2,195, plus $295 for the RS-232.

Retail Jeweler Partner software combines business and accounting systems, for functions from counter sales to backroom accounting. Features include employee time clock and payroll reports; multiple cash drawer capability; controlled tendering to prevent giving wrong change; daily cash drawer reporting for better cash management, employee time tracking and bar-coding. The software costs $1,499 for one module and $1,999 for a multiple system.

Jeweltrace, a video imaging system, provides pictures of items to prevent mishaps in shipping and sales and make it difficult to pilfer by switching items, says the firm. Jeweltrace can be added to any software program and used with any PC compatible system under DOS WINDOWS with single or multi-users. It includes a color video camera, video capture board, software, cables, manual and optional camera stand with lights. The starting price is $1,495. Contact Serj Tankian, marketing director, Ultimate Solutions I, 7720 Lankershim Blvd., Suite B., N. Hollywood, Cal. 91605; (818) 765-8551, fax (818) 765-5841.

GemprintTM RSii, the newest version of the instrument from Omphalos Recovery Systems Inc., deters gem theft and fraud with “fingerprints” (electronic images) of registered gems. The unit scans a gem, then stores its image in its memory; from there it can be printed for jeweler and customer files and transmitted, via modem, to a central database accessible to police for identifying suspect gems. The firm says identifiable, registered gems prevent claims of fraud and stone-switching, guarantee authenticity and increase odds of recovery in event of loss. Offering the service also can produce extra income for jewelers: One GemprintTM costs a consumer $40. In addition, GemprintTM shares any fees for recovering lost or stolen gems with the jeweler who Gemprinted the stone. The system costs about $10,000 for equipment and license; it can be leased monthly for $200 to $300. Contact GemprintTM, 10 Lower Spadina Ave., Suite 203, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 2Z2; (800) 448-9244, fax (416) 260-8264. Or 666 Fifth Ave., 37th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10130; (800) 448-9244, fax (212) 541-3799.

Customized jewelry and watch repair envelopes from Star Struck Inc. “can be as valuable [as] a vault or security camera and protect jewelers from loss,” says vice president Keith Sessler. The resealable see-through envelopes make the “possibility of accidentally losing the item [inside] impossible.” The watch envelope has a check-off section for common repairs; the jewelry one has space for more detailed product descriptions and instructions. Most important, says Sessler, is a three-part form on the bag on which to list an exact description and value for the item; the customer must sign this form. If a clerk forgets to value the piece, a disclaimer limits the store’s obligation to $75. The customer gets the top form, the store the second; the third stays attached to the envelope until the customer picks up his or her item and signs it to acknowledge receipt. The envelopes come in three styles, with prices starting at $49 per 500. Contact Star Struck Inc., 8 F.J. Clarke Circle, P. O. Box 308, Bethel Conn. 06801; (800) 243-6144, fax (800) 962-8345

The new 900 Loss-Prevention Precious Metal Detectors from Friskem/Infinetics Inc. thwarts employee theft and carry-out pilferage of precious metals and jewelry products, says the firm. “Saving just one or two gold wedding bands a week can pay for [its cost],” notes a spokesman. All-automatic and requiring minimal training, the 900 double-searches each employee as he or she passes through it, using customized programs to focus on specific products. It comes in two sizes, with “foot-search” and other options, for firms ranging from small studios to factory size. Prices range from $9,500 for the basic model to $25,000 for fully-computerized versions with on-site services. Contact Friskem/Infinetics Inc., P.O. Box 2330, Wilmington, Del. 19899-2330; (302) 658-2471, fax: (302) 658-2475.

File-A-Gem is designed to show loose gems in an easy and safe manner to reduce risk of theft and to simplify inventory control of loose stones, says the firm. Each file card describes the specific gem shown and comes in a clear plastic-like sleeve which holds the gem securely. There is a wallet for both diamond file cards and for colored gem cards. The price of 24 File-A-Gem cards and wallet is $41.50. Contact File-A-Gem Inc., 120 W. 11 St., Box 539, Baxter Springs, Kan. 66713; (800) 247-4152, fax (800) 638-2411.

Worldwide Safe & Vault Inc. offers UL-rated modular vaults – in both lightweight and high-density versions – and UL-rated vault doors. (The UL rating means the vaults and doors have been engineered to meet the Underwriters Laboratories requirements for resistance to burglary attacks by drilling, burning and demolition hammer.) Modular vaults are a practical alternative to having many safes, says President Scott Hirsch, because they provide “greater storage capacity for often very little difference in price.” They can be built to any size and installed at the site or within an existing room, as well as disassembled and relocated, enlarged or reduced in size. The vaults come in four models in both the lightweight laminated and the high density concrete versions. Prices depend on individual store needs, but small vaults start at $15,000. Vault doors are available in three models; prices depend on the features requested. Contact Worldwide Safe & Vault Inc., 8306 Mills Dr., Suite 410, Miami, Fla. 33183; (800)-932-2278, fax (3050 477-9744.

Kenstan Lock Co., a long-time supplier of locks for retail stores, has expanded its line of higher security locks. It has teamed with Medeco Security Locks and added the Medeco High Security core to Kenstan’s line of showcase and cabinet locks. These locks are virtually “pick-proof,” says the firm, and eliminate the problem of employee key duplication. Pricing is in the high-$20s.

Kenstan also has upgraded its Keymatic “Eight Locks in One” system. It allows jewelers to reset the lock and issue new keys immediately when keys are lost or stolen. It is difficult to pick, says the company, and more difficult to duplicate than most locks on the market. Pricing is in the mid- to high-teens.

The firm’s KIC, or Kenstan Interchangeable Core, is a complete line of top-quality interchangeable core looks for showcases and cabinets, priced in the mid- to high-$20s. Contact Robert B. Harrison, vice president of operations, Kelsan Lock Co., 166 West Hills, Huntington Station, N.Y. 11746; (800) 859-RUSH (8874), fax (516) 271-2759.

Safes for personal use at home and office are available from the Safe-at-Home Division of Empire Safe Inc., a leading vendor of UL-rated safes, vaults and vault doors. The commercial-quality safes include the Professional series (for businesses, executive offices, apartments and private homes) and the Avenue series (for apartments and executives offices).

Both use high-tech, easy-to-operate, battery-powered digital locks which let owners set their own private codes. The safes come in various shapes and sizes for limited-space locations such as alcoves, closets and under desks or tables. The Professional, with 10 models, starts at $1,095; the Avenue, with three, starts at $1,300. Options include jewelry trays, custom cabinets and private interior compartments.

Empire also distributes TSI Jewelry and Vault Carts, which cut daily set up and breakdown time 50% to 60% by reducing transfer of merchandise to a single trip, says a spokesman. The cart or rack holding the entire inventory serves as the interior of the jeweler’s safe or vault and rolls out to the showcases. (Jewelry Carts use a dolly; Vault Carts need none.) Jewelry Carts start at $685, Vault Carts at $395. Contact the Safe-at-Home Division, Empire Safe Co., 433 Canal St., New York, N.Y. 10013; (212) 226-2255, fax (212) 941-9073.

The Excalibur 60×6, the world’s first UL-approved TRTL60x6 safe, is available in the U.S. from the Acme Safe Co. (The classification means it has been tested by Underwriters Laboratories to withstand vigorous torch and tool tests on all six sides for 60 minutes, twice as long as a TRTL30x6 safe.) While “neither heavier nor more massive than its less protective counterparts,” says a spokesman, “[the safe] achieves superior strength, and minimal loss of usable space, by using state-of-the-art barrier materials on all sides.” Excalibur is manufactured by Soltam Ltd., a division of Korr, the largest industrial firm in Israel. It comes in four sizes, ranging from eight to 22 cubic feet. Prices start at $8,000. Contact Acme Safe Co., 419 Park Ave. South, New York, N.Y. 10016; (212) 226-2500, fax (212) 686-0736.

“Jewel LOCK” is the newest feature of jewelry-store showcases and display cases made and distributed by Spartan Showcase Inc. The interlocking sliding door design prevents access when closed and locked. Options include tempered glass, halogen or cotron lighting, and the choice of any color high-pressure laminate. The starting price for the cases is $463. For a free catalog and information, contact Judy Fritzemeyer, Marketing, Spartan Showcase Inc., P.O. Box 470, Union, Mo. 63084; (314) 583-4050, fax (314) 583-4067.

Surveillance Video Systems offers a variety of security equipment to jewelers. One is the SVS-5000 closed-circuit TV surveillance system. Packaged especially for jewelers, it includes the Panasonic WV Series camera with 16mm lens, Sony high-resolution monitor, white coaxial hook-up cable and camera wall mount. It is easy to install, says the company, requires no special lighting and can plug into any 110V outlet. It costs $495, including shipping.

Another is the SVS-2000 Series of simulated security cameras. The all-metal replicas are available in scanning, stationary and battery-operated models. Due to their “high degree of realism” – including red pilot lights, detailing, coaxial cable, warning decals, mounting brackets and hardware – they “provide the same deterrent as a live CCTV systems at a fraction of the cast,” says an SVS spokesman. Contact Surveillance Video Systems, 258 A Street, Suite 8, P.O. Box 1349, Ashland, Ore. 97520; (503) 431-4500.

Oak showcases and display cases with clear-tempered glass are available from O’Brien Manufacturing, a leading national manufacturer of wooden showcases for jewelers. Tempered glass on the showcases is 1/8″ thick – almost unbreakable – on the top and the front panels, and 3/16″ thick on the sliding doors and shelves. For countertops, the glass is 3/16″ thick on the top, sides, front panel and sliding door panels, and 1/4″ thick on the shelves. The showcases’ sliding glass door track assemblies have built-in plunger locks; tumbler cabinet locks are used on mini-showcases. Prices start at $58 (including shipping) for small cases, and go up to $800 for counters. Contact John O’Brien, O’Brien Manufacturing, 2081 Knowles Rd., Medford, Ore. 97501; (503) 773-2410.

Superfortress TL-30 by International Safe Manufacturing is the “newest and most revolutionary TL-30 on the market today,” claims a spokesman for Security Safe Co., its distributor. A key feature is its “Crossguard” locking mechanism (patent pending), designed for forceful attacks, including explosives, on this class of safe. Crossguard’s four-way corner locking boltwork has “240% greater grip locking area than conventional round bolts,” claims the company, and locks into the strongest part of the safe, its corners. The mechanism and door are further protected by special resistive barrier material and by multiple, randomly located relocking devices tied to a tempered glass plate. In addition, says the firm, Superfortress has passed a two-hour fire test in which interior temperatures didn’t exceed 350¯ Fahrenheit while rising to 1850¯ F outside. The safe comes in six sizes; prices start at $2,650. Contact Security Safe Co., 1753 Addision Way, Hayward, Cal. 94544-6900; (800) 326-4224, fax (510) 732-8716.

The Polygon Network, a privately-operated computer network for the jewelry industry, offers computerized crime alerts for jewelers. Polygon subscribers get the free “Jewelers Security Alliance” channel (one of 20 channels available) on which JSA posts anti-crime advisories, suspect-alert bulletins, descriptions of stolen items and digitalized photos of suspects and/or stolen jewelry. Contact the Polygon Network, FirstBank Center, P.O. Box 4806, Dillon, Colo. 80435; (303) 468-1245, fax (303) 469-1247.

SmartCaseTM is a state-of-the-art showcase security system from Guard All International and the newest addition to its successful Pilfer ProoferTM systems. SmartCaseTM uses advanced electronic technology and proven security methods to detect and deter theft – such as misdirection by thieves, glass-top lifting or forced doors – and to alert the staff and other security systems, says President Harry Gefen. Features include coded access; reprogrammable infrared transmitter keys; optional magnetic locks; and programmed, audible alerts when cases are tampered with, left open and/or unattended. SmartCaseTM can be integrated with other store security systems (such as video surveillance) and with magnetic locks. Modular in design, it is installable in most showcase frames during manufacture or can be retrofitted to existing cases. Pricing depends on the features requested, the cases and the retailer’s size. But SmartCaseTM, which is adaptable to any retail environment, is cost effective and pays for itself within a year, says Gefen. Contact Guard All International, Suite 403, 49 Spadina Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V2J1; (416) 482-7325, fax (416) 348-0426.

The video-based Visitor Identification System is from Worldwide Loss Consultants Ltd., which provides services for “security-critical facilities.” The VIS records and identifies every visitor in less than two seconds. It eliminates sign-in sheets, using instead more accurate personal identification such as driver’s licenses. The self-contained fully-automatic system, which plugs into any electrical outlet, can be used to record entries at stores, offices, vaults or trade shows; it handles up to 1,800 entries per hour. Each is custom built to complement the decor of a facility. Prices start at $4,995 for the basic VIS, and go to $7,350 for the deluxe color system. Contact Worldwide Loss Consultants Ltd., 2901 Long Beach Road, Suite 3, Oceanside, N.Y. 11572; (516) 764-3242, fax (516) 764-3362.

ComputectTM VS is a new visual alarm verification system from Holmes Protection. Its digital cameras – which operate even in complete darkness – are activated along with a store’s alarm system. Within 20 seconds, pictures are taken and transmitted to Holmes’ central station, where the alarm’s cause is monitored and transmitted to police. “Since 90% of all alarms are false,” says Holmes Vice President Jeff Caplan, “most are assigned a ‘low response priority’ by police. But when a break-in can be visually verified, the alarm is upgraded to ‘burglary-in-progress,’ which warrants a higher response priority from law enforcement.” This increases protection of the jeweler, his property and his insurance company. Visual verification also reduces false alarms. ComputectTM VS can be integrated with most alarm systems or used as a stand-alone system. Installation costs $1,500; the monthly fee is $35. Contact Holmes Protection of New York Inc., 440 Ninth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10001-1695; fax (212) 465-8414.