April 20, 2005
Home Invasion Pattern Detected
The Jewelers' Security Alliance says the New York Police Department's Queens Robbery Squad reports a pattern of home invasion robberies of jewelers in Queens, NY, in which two black males go to the front door of residences (both houses and apartments) of jewelers. In two incidents, they said they had a floral delivery. When the door opens, the two suspects force their way in, hold the family at gunpoint, and tie up family members before stealing jewelry merchandise, including entire safes.
Here is the JSA's advice to prevent these crimes:
Because robbers usually case their victims, always be aware of being watched or followed. People sitting in a car near your home or store too long, a car that follows you when you leave the store and suspicious phone calls or customers should trigger a call to police to check possible suspects.
Keep a logbook so all your employees can record suspicious incidents. Ask them to write down the time, license plate numbers, names used and suspects¹ physical descriptions.
You must train your family, including younger members, babysitters and temporary visitors. They should not give information on the phone or open the door to unknown people, perhaps including delivery personnel. They should become aware of suspicious people watching the house. If you have trusted neighbors, ask them to also keep an eye out. Household help of any kind can make you more vulnerable, so do background checks and screen carefully.
When choosing a new home, consider security issues, such as living on a dead-end street versus. heavily traveled areas, the closeness of neighbors and the garage or parking set-up. Basics include having proper locks, alarm systems and good lighting. Some jewelers highly recommend having a dog at home for warning and protection.
Keep large safes or quantities of jewelry merchandise out of your house.
Have an unlisted and unpublished home phone number and keep a charged cell phone with you at all times, including at your bedside at night.
Get to know someone in a supervisory position at your local police department and advise him or her of the special risks jewelers face, so when you need to call, your contact is familiar with your needs.
Have a security code-phrase family members can use on the phone to alert each other there¹s trouble. It should be a statement unlikely to arouse robbers' suspicions.