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Jewelers Are Being Targeted on the Road by Criminals, JSA Warns

The robberies and thefts occurred on highways and streets, in parking lots, outside hotels and retail stores and at a gas station.




A string of eight crimes targeted members of the jewelry industry away from stores over the past few weeks, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance reports.

The robberies and thefts occurred on highways and streets, in parking lots, outside hotels and retail stores and at a gas station. The incidents were as follows:

Oct. 16, Queens, NY: A suspect on a scooter followed a jeweler and stole a bag.

Oct. 17, Miami: A jeweler was filling up at a gas station and a  distracted him to assist her pumping gas. Suspects came up behind, opened the trunk and stole merchandise from the trunk.

Oct. 24, Los Angeles: Four gang members deliberately crashed into a salesperson from Hong Kong on the I-10 Freeway. They swarmed the disabled car and took merchandise while the salesperson was on his knees with his arms raised.

Oct. 29, Rutherford, NJ: An exhibitor who left a trade show was robbed outside the hotel in the Meadowlands. Four suspects took his merchandise as he was loading his car.


Nov. 1, Providence, RI area: A traveling salesperson parked outside a retail store and went in. Suspects pulled up a car, cut the trunk lock of the salesperson and stole a large quantity of merchandise.

Nov. 14, Philadelphia: A salesperson from New York got a flat tire and was calling AAA when suspects opened the passenger door and took a bag containing merchandise.

Nov. 14, Los Angeles: A diamond dealer was robbed in a parking lot.

Nov. 16, Huntington Beach, CA: Suspects crashed into two cars on the I-405 Freeway and robbed a jewelry store employee. They took off in a different getaway vehicle, a white Ford Explorer.

JSA offers these recommendations:

When leaving sales calls or any jewelry premise jewelers must be alert for anyone following them. Whether the jeweler is in a car or on foot, it is wise to take evasive action, driving or walking in opposite directions, making U-turns and making abrupt changes in direction and movements to see if you are being followed.


When carrying merchandise, jewelers need to be skeptical of all strangers who talk to them which could be a distraction attempt.

Jewelers should not leave jewelry merchandise in an unattended vehicle. Insurance ordinarily does not cover such losses.

Jewelers do not have flat tires or overheated vehicles. If car problems occur, consider yourself a crime target and get you and your merchandise to a safe location as quickly as possible.

When leaving trade shows, it is best to ship your merchandise if it is feasible. Losses can occur outside the venue or even the next day after you are followed.



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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