THE BIG SURVEY 2017

These bad guys were not exactly geniuses.

One of the questions we asked in Big Survey 2017 was, "Do you have a favorite dumb criminal story?"

Lots of jewelers did, and the tales make you wonder what these bad guys were thinking. In most cases, they apparently weren't thinking at all.

Below are some of the responses we received. Look out for all the results of the 2017 Big Survey in the October edition of INSTORE.

  • Two college-aged boys tried to sell us a baggie full of ladies’ rings that varied in size from 4 to 9.5. They claimed the rings were their grandmother’s. The police determined they’d stolen them from local elderly ladies in parking lots.
  • A sickly, frail elderly man once had to be removed with (gentle) force because he became violent and disruptive when we informed him that his EcoDrive watch wasn’t damaged during battery replacement because there is no battery and we’d never met him before! He was arrested despite our pleas to simply take him elsewhere.
  • We had a woman who came into the store and asked if we had a warranty for our diamond ring that she had “lost.” I thought maybe I had heard her wrong, so I repeated the question, “You want to know if we have a warranty on the ring that you lost?” Yes, she said. So I told her, “No, we would not replace the ring because you lost it. But if you have it on your home insurance policy, you could make a claim to replace it.” She looked really confused and said, “I don’t have that. Can I get that from you?” No, I said, you would get homeowners insurance from your insurance company, but at this point since you’ve lost the ring, it wouldn’t help you very much.” She then said, “Well, can you just, like, forget that I said it was stolen?” Really? Insurance fraud for you? No thanks!
  • It was a Monday. Two guys wearing masks parked behind the store and ran around the store and into our front door. We are closed on Mondays.

SEE MORE BIG SURVEY 2017 STORIES


  • Wheelchair bandit. Guy comes in wheeled in by another man. The wheelchair guy’s shoe heels were all worn out. The person pushing the wheelchair had no clue how to wheel him around.
  • A customer stole the ring that she came in to make a layaway payment on. I noticed it was gone after she left, so I called the police and gave them all of her contact info that we had on her layaway file, the police called her and asked her to come down to the police department. She went to the police and handed the ring to them.
  • Hands loaded magazine to gun-counter manager, then forgets to ask for it back.
  • Guy stole a ring and we got the car’s plates. He put the ring in a “cavity” and it came out in the corner of the holding cell. We called it the poop ring and put a $100 spiff on it.
  • The guy who came in to steal something with a nametag on and a shirt from the store where he worked!
  • After being warned, a young lady took so long badly hiding items from our sister (gift) store on her person that a police officer arrived, waited outside and arrested her the moment she cleared the door.
  • We had a couple reach inside the case and grab a tray of jewelry. When they realized (outside the store) that the jewelry wasn’t live, they brought it back and told us they were “trying to teach us a lesson.” Yes, we filed charges.
  • Had a young man come in with a large emerald-cut diamond in a platinum mounting wanting to sell it. I had just hired a new person who had been a jeweler at the Riddles store in the local mall. She recognized him as being a friend of a part-time worker at that store. We called the store and asked if they had a customer that may have lost the ring and they replied that they were searching in the shop for the ring that had disappeared. We called the cops and they came, arrested him and as they were cuffing him, he asked “Does this mean that I can’t go to work tomorrow?” “Yes” was the reply. “Then could you call in and say I would be coming in as soon as I can because I need to keep the job.”
  • One man tried to convince us Chuck E. Cheese tokens were actually gold coins.
  • Man telling us he has a gambling debt and needs to sell off his Patek Philippe watch he’s had for a few years (still in original purchase casing) and then changes story to paying off a car and then lowers the price to pay off his electric bill. A quick call to our buddies, the police, had him singing a different tune.
  • We had a smash and grab on alternative metal bands.
  • Grab-and-runner did not see the manager throw the deadbolt on front doors right before he tried to run out. Face planted with nose print through the glass.
  • Tried to steal $2 out of our jar for the no-kill animal shelter. He couldn’t get his hand in far enough.

 And it's not always the bad guys who forget to think ...

  • The time my sister chased an over 6-foot man through the parking lot who had just stolen a ring. What would have happened if she caught him?
  • Don’t really want to share. But anyway ... Around Father’s Day, three guys in street clothing and one asks if we sell Rolex (Alarm 1). We don’t. Proceeds to tell me long story how he and his brother want to buy something nice for their dad (some legitimacy). Guys have baseball caps pulled low over eyes (Alarm 2). They then ask to see men’s diamond rings (Alarm 3). One guy walks out of store. Asks to see a sweet diamond ring we fabricate. I pull it out of the showcase, they admire for a moment and then the grab and run happens ... Yeah, has left me with major trust issues with young punks. Expensive lesson.
  • Sometimes I invite interested customers to see my fabrication area. My purse was sitting out (I usually have it hidden). My wallet was stolen.
  • Guy looking at a chain decides he is going to run out of the store without paying for it. Little did he know I was at the peak of my training for my half marathon. Caught him and he goes to jail and I get my $2,000 chain back. Wish he would have gotten away with it and insurance would have paid me for it. It was a dog!

This article originally appeared in the October 2017 edition of INSTORE.