December 12, 2003
Be Alert at Opening and Closing, Says JSA
The Jewelers' Security Alliance issued a bulletin this week advising jewelers to be cautious about opening and closing times at their stores, as this is one of the most vulnerable times for robberies. Here are ways to decrease the risk:
1. Before Opening: As you drive in, check to see if anyone seems to be following you. Try driving extra slowly, drive around the block or make U-turns to find out. If you walk to work, cross the street or abruptly change direction. No one should follow such moves. You should also vary your route and your time of going to your store. When you arrive, check to see if there are strangers or suspicous people parked or standing near your store or in the vicinity. You might want to wait, drive around the block or go for coffee. Also check around the perimeter of your store for any signs of a break-in. If you feel suspicious, call police.
2. At Opening: There should be at least two people involved one should go to the door, while another observes from a distance with a cell phone to call police if the opener encounters trouble. Don't enter through rear doors or quiet side alleys. The opener should go in, relock the door, turn off the alarm and inspect the premises. If all is well, the person inside should give the observer a signal to approach. The inside person should watch the second person approach and not unlock the door until she or he is sure there are no suspicious people in sight. After both employees are inside, relock the door and keep it locked until all merchandise is placed in locked showcases and you're ready to open for stated business hours.
3. At Closing: Wait until all customers have left before locking your door, removing goods from showcases and returning them to your safe. Inspect your entire store to be sure no one is hiding inside. If you notice suspicious persons outside your store when you go to leave, relock the doors, move employees to an office area and notify police or mall security.
by Peggy Jo Donahue