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Smash-and-Grab Robbery Wave Targets Jewelers During Holiday Selling Season

Most of the incidents occurred in Michigan.

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Smash-and-grab robbers have been targeting jewelers in Michigan and other states during the busy selling season, according to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance.

Recent Michigan robberies or attempts have included:

  • Auburn Hills, MI, Dec. 15, two male suspects
  • Taylor, MI. Dec. 16, two male suspects
  • Troy, MI, Dec. 10, pepper spray used to subdue guard
  • Clinton Township, MI, Dec. 6, three male suspects
  • Auburn Hills, MI, Dec. 14
  • Grandville, MI, Dec. 15, two male suspects

Other incidents have occurred in Ohio, Wisconsin, Georgia and Pennsylvania, according to JSA.

The suspects have concealed their identities with hoods. However, nine suspects, believed to have carried out four of the incidents, have been arrested, according to JSA. All are from Detroit.

“In addition to the violence and effect on staff, the victim stores not only lose needed inventory, but often have to close for repairs during the most important time of the year,” JSA stated. “This pattern of robberies is similar to the wave of smash-and-grab robberies throughout the country that was met with over 50 indictments and arrests of Detroit gang members in 2015.”

To see a police chase and arrest of Detroit suspects from October 2018, go to: https://jewelerssecurity.org/video-subjects-flee-from-police-in-high-speed-chase-through-field/

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JSA’s recommendations regarding 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. Robbers frequently cut themselves on small holes and leave behind valuable DNA evidence from blood.
  • Having an audible glass-breakage alarm on your showcases can scare smash-and-grab robbers away, who are trying to remain in a target store for less than a minute.
  • The robbers have been targeting loose diamonds and high-end watches. Spreading high-end watches and loose 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 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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Jeweler Pummels Would-Be Robber with Martial Arts — Watch the Video

The 74-year-old store owner used Israeli Krav Maga.

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A 74-year-old jeweler in Hollywood, FL, used Krav Maga, an Israeli martial arts style, to fight off a would-be robber.

Daniel Stetton, owner of DHS Oakwood Jewelers, said the man had bought a gold chain months ago, the Sun-Sentinel reports. Stetton offered to fix it, but the man wanted a replacement.

Stetton refused, and the man went behind the counter to grab a new chain himself.

Stetton confronted him, employing some of the Krav Maga he learned while serving in the Israeli Army decades ago.

The incident was captured on surveillance video.

He said he had no choice but to protect his business.

“I didn’t expect I would have to use it one day,” the Sun-Sentinel quoted him saying. “But, what are you going to do?”

Stetton’s wife joined the fray, swinging a yardstick at the culprit.

The man, looking dazed, grabbed his broken chain and left the store.

Police are looking for the suspect.

Read more at the Sun-Sentinel

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Jeff Unger, President of Alisa Unger Designs and Long-Time INSTORE Contributor, Dies at Age 57

He fought cancer for 10 years and inspired many with his resilience and positive attitude.

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Jeff Unger

Jeff Unger, president and co-owner of B & N Jewelry (d.b.a. Alisa Unger Designs) with his wife Alisa, passed away due to complications caused by renal carcinoma cancer on February 7, 2019 at the age of 57.

Jeff was an avid golfer, and when he was diagnosed with cancer, he became the coach for a local high school golf team at Weber High. He spent the last 10 years of his life teaching the game he loved to kids and adults with disabilities via the Adaptive Golf program and the MDE School. He loved his wife, Alisa, dearly and was married just shy of 33 years. Together they had two children, Brandi and Jason. As a family, they loved to travel, try new restaurants, spend time together, and most importantly, laughed together.

Jeff served as treasurer for the Southern Jewelry Travelers Association (SJTA), which produces the Atlanta Jewelry Show. He was also one of the founders of the Prime Jewelry Group.

Throughout his life, Jeff gave back to his community and to causes close to his heart. After losing a sister and sister-in-law to breast cancer, Jeff and Alisa started the foundation, Me & My Two Friends, which still runs today, donating money to breast cancer research.

Jeff fought cancer for 10 years, but not without a smile on his face. His outstanding resilience and unquenchable thirst for life were deeply inspirational to all that knew him.

Here at INSTORE, we knew Jeff as a shrewd person of business and in life, and as a friendly face we could always count on seeing at industry trade shows. Jeff contributed many columns over the years to INSTORE, writing from a supplier’s perspective and calling on both retailers and suppliers to improve communication and their working relationships. He authored a monthly e-newsletter called “The Mind Massage,” in which he would write on various business-related topics, often relating his advice back to the game of golf and almost always encouraging his readers to smile more and to connect with their fellow humans. We will miss him.

Read one of our favorite Jeff Unger columns, “Just Say Hello,” here.

And read more of Jeff’s writing for INSTORE here.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the following organizations:

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Newspaper Tracks Down Billionaire Jeweler Suspected in $2B Fraud

Nirav Modi has been staying in a high-dollar London apartment.

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British newspaper The Telegraph tracked down Nirav Modi, the billionaire jeweler who’s suspected in a $2 billion fraud case in India, in London.

He’s been staying in a high-dollar apartment in London’s West End, according to the newspaper.

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Last year, The New York Times described Modi as being “on the run” and noted that figuring out his location had become something of a “national pastime” in India.

He’s remained at-large despite Interpol’s issuance of a reed notice for his arrest in July, The Telegraph reports.

The newspaper, which has described Modi as “India’s most wanted man,” posted a video of the jeweler on Twitter, with Modi replying “sorry, no comment” to a reporter’s questions.

The New York Times reports that India is waiting for a reply from Britain regarding an extradition request. The Telegraph later reported that that the UK had agreed to the extradition.

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Modi is at the center of a fraud case involving Punjab National Bank, where employees are “suspected to have steered fraudulent loans” to Modi’s businesses, Reuters has reported.

Modi is apparently involved in a new new diamond business in the UK, according to The Telegraph.

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