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Be Vigilant to Prevent Smash and Grabs and Robberies This Holiday Season

Berkley Asset Protection encourages you to know what to look for and how to respond if your business becomes a target.




SMASH-AND-GRAB thefts and other robberies are still prevalent within the jewelry industry, occurring quite frequently. Unfortunately, jewelry stores – and other businesses with high-value merchandise – are preferred targets for thieves.

Berkley Asset Protection encourages you to know what to look for and how to respond if your business becomes a target.

  • Sufficient security measure should always be implemented, including alarm systems, door buzzers, man trap entries and guards. Doors should never be left open.
  • If you get an alarm warning or having issues that appear out of the blue, assume that the store is about to be burglarized.
  • Invest in a battery backup for your alarm that will last at least 72 hours.
  • Most robberies and other thefts are preceded by a casing, when one or more thieves watch the store from a distance and then walk around inside to understand the layout and security in your store. If you or your employees detect a casing, you may be able to prevent the crime entirely by demonstrating a high-level of awareness and security.
  • Most robberies occur around opening or closing. Increase your staff and security during those times and during the holiday season.
  • When closed, put as much jewelry away as possible and do NOT cover showcases with linens as it suggests that valuables are stored there.
  • Employees should always stay alert and on the lookout for suspicious activity.
  • High-valued jewelry should be protected in showcases with laminated security glass and reinforcement to withstand attack. Laminated security glass uses two or more panes of glass that sandwich an interlayer of break-resistant material.
  • If 20 or 30 people come into the store in a short period of time, be on high alert that they are looking to distract and overwhelm sales staff so that they can access unlocked safes/vaults and unattended showcases.
  • Remember that jewelry theft can happen anywhere. Never assume your location is exempt from crime.
  • In order to have accurate protection, please ensure that you are insuring to value and reporting exposures like shipping and travel accurately.

While some robberies and thefts can be averted, many cannot. That’s why proper insurance is so important to the long-term success of jewelry businesses. Here’s a Robbery Loss Prevention Checklist, for additional safety tips.

For questions, please contact Berkley Asset Protection: 212-922-0659 or [email protected].

Greg Smith is executive vice-president and co-founder of Berkley Asset Protection, a Berkley Company (WRB). He leads the claims and loss consulting operation for the company’s jewelers block, fine art, high-value assets and commercial lines practices. He started his career in the claims adjusting and loss consulting business in 1987. Reach him at [email protected] or learn more about Berkley Asset Protection at



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