JSA Reports Retail Crimes

May 11, 2005

JSA Reports Retail Crimes

Criminals who prey on jewelers – and the jewelry buying public – have been hard at work in May, says the Jewelers' Security Alliance. Make note of these incidents.

Break-ins Through Adjoining Walls

There have been several recent reports of jewelry store burglaries accomplished by criminals who break into adjoining businesses and enter jewelers' stores through a shared wall. In Jacksonville, FL, burglars may have set a new record for this tactic. JSA reports the criminals used a sledgehammer and a cutting device to get through the walls of three adjoining business in a strip mall to reach their goal of entering a retail jewelry store.

First, the burglars used a sledgehammer to break through a concrete wall to get into a bridal shop. From there the burglars cut a hole next door through drywall into a hair salon. Next they broke through to a driving school, and finally the burglars cut through the wall behind the safes at a retail jewelry store. Several alarms were received, but when police responded twice, there were no visible exterior signs of forced entry to the jewelry store. The jeweler's safe was torched and jewelry merchandise taken.

The other stores broken through suffered no losses. It was reported that one of the stores had been broken into three weeks ago, again with nothing stolen, in what may have been a trial run to see how fast the police would respond.

Antique Stores Targeted

JSA reported a distraction theft and a burglary at two different antique stores that carried estate jewelry, one in Annapolis, MD and one in Salt Lake City, UT. It warns jewelers and antique store owners that they should note when a burglary takes place at either kind of retailer in the immediate area. If antique stores in your area are being attacked by criminals, a jewelry store might be the next victim, and vice versa.

Moissanites Being Sold as Diamonds

Unsuspecting consumers are being targeted by African nationals who attempt to sell them "diamonds," which are really moissanite, "before returning to Africa." The suspects approach businesspersons to sell them the stones and allow the potential buyers to take the stones to a jeweler of their choice to have the stones tested. Sometimes the jewelers don't run the correct test for moissanite, and at other times an actual diamond may be used for testing as part of the scam. Police report that the suspects are wanted in Missouri, Texas, California and Colorado for this crime.

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