These three tips may save your life or the lives of those around you.
Because jewelry is highly transportable and precious metals are so easily traded, it is not surprising that robbers are highly motivated to steal. In fact, some recent robbery crimes against jewelers show an increase in the violence that criminals used to intimidate jewelers in an attempt to control the situation.
What you do and how you act during an armed or smash-and-grab robbery could save your life, the lives of your associates, and even the lives of your customers who may be present during a robbery.
That’s why every jeweler should know these tips.
Don’t Resist During the Robbery
As frightening as this situation may be, the best thing to do if you find yourself in the presence of a weapon-wielding criminal is to be passive. While it may be difficult to stay still, under no circumstance should you ever appear to be resisting or brandish a weapon of your own. Ultimately, that could be the most dangerous mistake you ever make.
It’s true that staying complacent may not prevent the loss of your merchandise, but those items can be replaced or compensated for. They are nothing compared to the loss of life, which is unlikely if everyone stays calm. Keep in mind it’s about not only your safety or the safety of your staff, but also the safety of customers who are shopping at the time.
Don’t Take Matters Into Your Own Hands After the Robbery
If you’ve remained calm enough until the robbers have left your premises, don’t risk escalating the situation again by trying to follow them. Your first instinct may be to try to get a better glimpse of the suspects or their getaway vehicle, but in reality, the last thing you should do is leave your business. If all of the suspects or accomplices haven’t fled the scene, your presence could escalate the situation again.
Educate Your Staff
All it takes is for one person to show signs of resistance for a robbery to take a turn for the worse. While you can’t control the actions of your customers, it’s imperative that every associate at your business is prepared to respond properly in the event of a robbery. Set a good example and practice being calm and collected.
It’s also important that you teach the warning signs of robbers casing your business. Putting preventative measures in place from the get-go will help reduce the chance of crimes from happening in the first place. After telling everyone about the signs of suspicious incidents — like customers appearing nervous or asking unusual questions — remember to stress the importance of documenting these occurrences in a suspicious incident log and sharing them afterwards.
Remember that the potential for both armed and smash-and-grab robberies at retail jewelry stores is real and the risk is always present. Just as a police officer double-checks all of his gear before going out into the field, jewelers need to review their security procedures periodically. In the end, it could help save a life.
David Sexton has over 35 years of experience in underwriting, risk management and loss prevention with Jewelers Mutual and is currently the vice-president of loss prevention. For more information, see jewelersmutual.com or call (800) 336-5642, ext. 2118.
This article originally appeared in the July 2017 edition of INSTORE.