What To Do In A Robbery
Even if a jeweler follows all the right procedures to discourage robberies, the jeweler may still wind up a robbery target. JSA's main advice if you do have a robbery is this: Do not resist and cooperate fully. For many years the JSA has promoted the following lifesaving guidelines on what to do in a robbery:
1. Obey the orders of the robber. Do not say or do anything, or even raise your hands, unless told to do so. Cooperate fully and try not to panic.
2. Do not attempt to disarm the robber or reach for a concealed weapon. Assume that the robber will shoot without hesitation.
3. Never do or say anything that would anger the robber. Example: do not stare at him and have him think that you are trying to memorize his facial characteristics.
4. The less time the robbers are in the store, the less risk there is of injury. Once the robbers have your merchandise, they can be expected to leave quickly.
5. Do not press a holdup alarm, if your premises have one, until the robbers have left the store and you have locked the door. If the police arrive while the robbers are in the store, or if the robbers return, a deadly hostage situation could develop.
6. Expect to be threatened. One of the robber's weapons is the fear he creates. Robbers commonly say: "I'll kill you if you make a move!" This is a typical threat. Expect it. Keep calm.
7. Frequently the robber will force the jeweler and his staff to a back room or washroom. Expect to be tied up or handcuffed or told to lie on the floor. Do as you are told.
8. If you are out of the robbers' sight, in a back room or elsewhere, stay where you are. Do not intrude on the crime scene.
9. Do not chase the robbers or follow them out of the store.
10. Call the police immediately after the robbers leave and you have locked the door. Do not wipe or try to clean the cases or other surfaces, or otherwise disturb the crime scene before the police respond, because you may destroy fingerprints or other valuable evidence. Try to memorize all the locations touched by the robbers so that you can advise the police about possible fingerprint evidence when they arrive.
11. Try to keep witnesses present until the police arrive. At the least, obtain the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses.
12. Do not talk to the media or allow them to film in your premises. Refuse all media interviews.
13. It is important to rehearse with all employees what they should do in a robbery. Being prepared may help
prevent an employee from panicking and provoking violence.
A total of 110 smash and grab robberies of jewelry stores in the U.S. were reported to JSA, compared to 62 in 2013, a 77% increase. Jewelers can’t rely only on the great work by law enforcement to help with this crime problem. Below are some recommendations provided to jewelers by JSA to help reduce the smash and grab epidemic.
1. 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.
2. Surveillance photos from eye-level cameras inside and outside the store provide excellent evidence for police.
3. Having buzzers on the door can help to keep out potential robbers.
4. Sharing information and photos among jewelers and police, and with JSA, regarding casings and suspects can help prevent crime and assist with investigations
5. Suspicious Incident Logbook: Many jewelers have found it helpful to keep a suspicious incident logbook at their business premises in which all employees can record things that appear to be “not quite right.” This should also be done at home. Keeping a logbook of suspicious incidents and putting aside and saving surveillance video of suspicious incidents, can be a great help in subsequent investigations. The log can be used to write down details such as license plate numbers, names used, time, physical description and other information regarding suspicious incidents that may later be helpful to police.