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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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