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November 1999

Managing: Security

The Layered Security Plan

Create a complex security net that causes criminals to move on to easier targets

If you watch the "X-Files" or just about any sci-fi thriller, you know the aliens eventually get someone. When you see a character alone in a remote or isolated area, for example, you develop a sense of what will happen to him.

As a security consultant, I can tell you when you or your merchandise
are most likely to be abducted. You already know gangs of South American thieves operate where jewelers are known to be. What you may not realize is how easy it is for them to strike. They are bold, fast and well-rehearsed.

You may think you're not at risk, but think again. Look at your store, office and home as if you were a pickpocket, burglar or armed robber. Ask yourself some questions. What could I steal? How could I get it? What security measures are in place; how could I defeat them? What procedures do I use to ensure safety and security?

The best defense is an aggressive one. Keep in mind that while you may spend three minutes reading this article, the criminal works on his attack plan for weeks, for 10 or more hours each day. He has visited your store, met your employees and studied your habits. He likely knows where you live, what car you drive and where you spend your time off. What have you done to thwart his efforts?

Have a Plan

Your best bet is to implement multiple layers of security. Such a security plan for a jewelry business may consist of some or all of the following:

  • High-quality gates and door locks.
  • UL-rated alarm system with an alarm transmission back-up.
  • A TR-TL30x6 or greater UL-rated safe with alarm protection.
  • A well-designed surveillance system with overt and covert cameras.
  • A concealed video recorder surveillance system in good working order.
  • A security plan to alert staff and other jewelers of suspicious people.
  • Adequate staffing: two or more employees in the store when open.
  • Double-entry "man-trap" door with electronic releases to limit access by suspicious people.
  • Security guard or armed guard when working late or during busy times.
  • Off-premises video surveillance by a security firm or neighboring business.
  • Random changes in routine – such as errands, opening and closing times, and number of staff on duty.
  • Alternating cars and routes to and from work. Special attention to note whether you're being followed.
  • Randomly rotating the location of your inventory, staff, parking and cash register.
  • Exercising common sense. Don't allow greed to force you to open early or stay late for customers. Keep your home phone number unlisted.
  • Don't give new employees or customers your home number or address. Use a cell phone if needed.
  • Never invite a new or unknown customer to your home.

Be a Hard Target

If you implement all these recommendations, you will greatly diminish the threat to your business. Even a few would improve your security.

Also obtain adequate insurance with a reputable company skilled in jewelers block coverage. Maintain accurate and up-to-date records and keep a copy off-premises. Business interruption insurance is more costly, but will provide compensation in the event a loss takes a long time to settle.
Following these simple guidelines will help to keep you safe from criminals and most other perils.

by Elie Ribacoff

Elie Ribacoff is president of Worldwide Security Systems & Consultants, a New York City company that provides international security and investigative services for the jewelry industry. Reach him at (718) 380-0209,

A wide-open entry, limited staff and
no guard will compromise your security

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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