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Jewelry-Store Robbery ‘Rampage’ Unfolds in 2 States

The incidents took place in Colorado and California.

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The Jewelers’ Security Alliance has reported a “rampage” of jewelry-store robberies taking place in Colorado and California.

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Three gunpoint robberies occurred in Colorado Springs, CO, over a five-day period, according to JSA. The incidents:

  • Jan. 29: “Five masked men entered the store shortly after opening, and one of them fired a shot into the building. The suspects smashed five showcases and took merchandise, and also took merchandise from the safe.”
  • Jan. 25: “At noon, two suspects entered a retail jewelry store, and one hit an employee on the head. The suspects grabbed jewelry and ran off.”
  • Jan. 25: “Later in the afternoon, four suspects entered a jewelry store, two with handguns. They ordered sales associates and customers to the floor, and smashed numerous showcases, leaving within 30 seconds.”

The Gazette newspaper in Colorado reports that on Jan. 29, a robbery occurred at Glenn’s Jewelry and Loans and involved “four men, one of whom might have had a handgun.” On Jan. 25, robberies took place at Moretti Jewelers and Jared, according to the newspaper.

Eight smash-and-grab incidents took place in California over a 10-day period, according to JSA.

  • Jan. 22, Artesia: “5 suspects.”
  • Jan. 21, Cerritos: “7 suspects. The suspects ordered sales associates and customers to the floor and began smashing showcases. Suspects fled in two vehicles.”
  • Jan. 20, San Bernardino: “3 suspects armed with pepper spray.”
  • Jan. 19, San Diego: “3 masked suspects.”
  • Jan. 18, Los Angeles: “4 suspects (1 female). Suspects assaulted owner with hammer. Escaped in silver Lexus.”
  • Jan. 18, Pico Rivera: “3 masked suspects. Escaped in silver Hyundai Sonata.”
  • Jan. 15, Whittier: “3 suspects.”
  • Jan. 12, San Diego: “2 masked suspects.”

JSA offers these tips related to smash-and-grab robberies:

  • Do not resist. In addition to sledgehammers and other dangerous tools, the suspects may be armed with guns.
  • Hiring armed, off-duty police officers in the store is a deterrent to smash-and-grab robbers.
  • Having buzzers on the door can help to keep out potential robbers.
  • Showcases with burglary-resistant, laminated glass and special frames can withstand many blows with a hammer and can prevent or reduce large losses. JSA has not seen robbers take retaliatory action when laminated glass is used and robbers are unable to enter a showcase or are able to take only a small amount of merchandise from a small hole. Furthermore, robbers frequently cut themselves on small holes and leave behind valuable DNA evidence from blood.
  • Having a audible glass breakage alarm on your showcases can scare smash-and-grab robbers away.
  • Spreading high-end watch and diamond merchandise among several showcases, and not concentrated in one showcase, can reduce the amount of the loss in a smash and grab robbery.
  • Surveillance photos from eye-level cameras inside and outside the store provide excellent evidence for police. Ceiling cameras too often capture useless photos of the top of heads or hats.
  • Keeping a log book of suspicious incidents, and putting aside and saving surveillance video of suspicious incidents, can be a great help in subsequent investigations.
  • Sharing information and photos among local jewelers and police, and with JSA, regarding casings and suspects can help prevent crime and assist with investigations.

 

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Online Jewelry Brand Raises $6.2M in Funding

Ross-Simons has taken a majority stake.

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CRANSTON, RI — Luca + Danni Inc., a online jewelry brand based in Rhode Island, has closed on $6.2 million in funding, with Ross-Simons Inc. becaming the majority investor in the deal.

PJC, a Boston-based VC Fund and early investor in Luca + Danni, will retain a stake in the company.

The investments “create a powerful partnership between an iconic jewelry company and three-year-old digital brand,” according to a Luca + Danni press release.

Fred Magnanimi, founder of Luca + Danni, will remain as CEO and board member.

“I started this brand to honor my family’s 50+ year heritage in US made handcrafted jewelry and help others embrace the journey of life as I learned to do after losing my brother to leukemia,” said Magnanimi. “With the amazing resources and strategic support of Ross-Simons and PJC, I am confident we will help millions embrace their own journey and continue to build our community.”

Ross-Simons, also based in Rhode Island, has a long history in retail and direct-to-consumer jewelry sales.

“Luca + Danni is a digitally native brand rapidly taking market share in the jewelry space,” said Jim Speltz, president of Ross-Simons. “Our resources, product expertise, and go-to-market experience matched with Luca + Danni’s powerful brand will foster meaningful growth in the evolving e-commerce world.”

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She Woke Up Without Her Engagement Ring. Guess Where Doctors Found It …

It all started with a dream. (Story with video.)

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A San Diego woman woke up without her engagement ring, and she immediately remembered a dream she’d had the night before.

One where she’d swallowed her engagement ring.

Jenna Evans immediately told her fiance, Bob Howell, and they headed to urgent care. She told the story in a Facebook post that has gone viral, garnering 62,000 shares as of Sept. 16.

She ended up seeing a gastroenterologist, who performed an upper endoscopy.

“Everything went great, they found my ring just beyond my stomach in my intestines, retrieved it and gave it to Bobby, not me,” she wrote.

She also divulged a bit about the dream that got her into the predicament.

“I was having a dream that Bobby and I were in a very sketchy situation involving a high speed train and bad guys (I have very exciting and vivid dreams) and he told me I had to swallow my ring to protect it; so I popped that sucker off, put it in my mouth and swallowed it with a glass of water riiiight about the time I realized what I was doing,” she explained. “I assumed this too was a dream, because WHO ACTUALLY SWALLOWS THEIR ENGAGEMENT RING, so I went back to sleep.”

The ring was made by Simone Jewelry Designs in Houston. CBS8 reports that it includes a 2.4 carat diamond.

Watch a news video about the incident:

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US Claims Overseas Jewelry Chain Supports Terrorism

It’s among 15 entities being targeted for sanctions.

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The U.S. Treasury Department is targeting al-Hebo Jewelry Co., which has stores in Turkey and Syria, for allegedly supporting ISIS.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control hit the company, along with more than a dozen other organizations and individuals, with counterterrorism sanctions, according to a press release from the department.

According to the release:

As of late 2017, al-Hebo’s location in Gaziantep, Turkey was involved in an ISIS scheme to convert gold into cash to more efficiently and secretly send funds via hawalas in Turkey to ISIS sleeper cells in Iraq and Syria.

As of early 2017, Raqqah-based al-Hebo was a cash transfer business used by ISIS members.

In September 2016, an employee of Raqqah-based al-Hebo likely coordinated a money transfer on behalf of a now-deceased, Syria-based, ISIS senior operations official.

Turkey-based al-Hebo owner Muhamad Ali al-Hebo is named specifically. As of late 2016, he was “involved in procuring precious metals to enable ISIS to produce its own ISIS coinage,” according to the release.

In all, the Treasury Department is targeting “15 leaders, individuals, and entities affiliated with terror groups,” according to the release. They include entities affiliated with HAMAS, al-Qa’ida and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods-Force (IRGC-QF), as well as ISIS.

“Since the horrific attacks of 9/11, the U.S. government has refocused its counterterrorism efforts to constantly adapt to emerging threats,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “President Trump’s modernized counterterrorism Executive Order enhances the authorities we use to target the finances of terror groups and their leaders to ensure they are as robust as possible.

“These new authorities will allow the U.S. Government to starve terrorists of resources they need to attack the United States and our allies, and will hold foreign financial institutions who continue to do business with them accountable. These new tools aid our unrelenting efforts to cut off terrorists from their sources of support and deprive them of the funds required to carry out their destructive activities. They serve as a powerful deterrent to radical terror groups and those seeking to aid their nefarious goals.”

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