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‘Code Red’ Issued for Jewelry Stores as More Burglars Cut Power Lines

JSA has identified 50 such cases.

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The Jewelers’ Security Alliance issued a “code red” amid a string of jewelry-store burglaries in which the culprits cut power lines.

The organization said it has identified 50 cases of such burglaries at U.S. jewelry stores in 2019.

Among recent cases:

  • Scottsdale, AZ, police received information from the Santa Barbara, CA, police that a crew of suspected Chilean jewelry burglars was in the Scottsville area. Scottsdale police located the individuals and followed them to two jewelry stores. Police say the suspects cut power at the stores. The next night, police observed a person on the roof of a jewelry store that had its power cut. The store was found ransacked the next day. Police arrested the three suspects at a motel; they were in possession of stolen jewelry.
  • In Yorba Linda, CA, suspects cut the power lines to a jewelry store on a day when it was closed. The owners’ family came to check on the store and saw that the cameras and alarm weren’t working. They called the Orange County Sheriff’s Department after realizing they were about to be burglarized. Deputies staked out the store, with two deputies hiding inside. The suspects broke through the front door and smashed two showcases with a crowbar. Two of the four suspects were arrested.
  • In Leawood, KS, suspects cut the power to a jewelry store, pried open the rear door, and attempted to break into the safe, but were unsuccessful. The suspects then stole a large quantity of jewelry items from the showcase, and also took the computer hard drive. Police learned that four other Kansas City jewelry stores had their power cut on the same night around the same time. None of the other stores were burglarized.

If you have further information, contact JSA at 212-687-0328 or [email protected]

Methods

  • Jewelry stores are targeted on weekends or on nights before a day the store is closed. Holidays, such as the Fourth of July, are also high-risk times.
  • Burglars access the outside electrical panel and cut off power to the store, disabling alarms and camera systems.
  • Burglars wait to see police or other response time, and then wait until police depart.
  • Burglars wait until backup battery power is exhausted.
  • Suspects reportedly tend to be Chilean burglary crews based in California and Florida, traveling throughout the U.S.
  • Suspects may cut through the roof or break into the jewelry store from a neighboring business, but also may break open or pry open front or rear doors.
  • Suspects may cut power to numerous jewelry stores in the same area and wait to observe response time and then identify the best target store.

JSA Recommendations

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  • Respond to any case of power interruption at your store.
  • Make sure that your call list at the alarm company includes the owner and enough employees who will be available to respond, including during vacations, weekend and holiday nights.
  • Do not respond alone. Have police accompany you.
  • Alert police that there may be burglars near the store watching to see the response to the power line cut.
  • Inspect your electrical box on a regular basis and report to police and JSA any sign of tampering, even if the power is not cut and no burglary occurred.
  • Have alarm protection for your store that covers all possible means of entry, including the roof and sidewalls.
  • Have line security to protect you if your alarm system is disabled.
  • The interior and exterior of the premises must be checked, including the roof and all possible means of entry.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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