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Wave of smash and grab robberies hits Midwest

Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) has released a new Crime Alert warning of a new wave of smash and grab robberies targeting jewelers in the Midwestern United States. Below find a listing of several recent incidents and prevention recommendations from JSA.

Novi, MI – November 13, 2017

At 7:30 p.m. three suspects, one of whom is pictured below, approached a retail jewelry store, and one suspect propped open the door and all three entered. One returned and held the door while the other two smashed two showcases, putting loose diamonds in a bag, and all ran out of the store.

JSA Novi

Madison Heights, MI – November 9, 2017

At 8:19 p.m. four black male suspects wearing hoodies, one of whom is pictured below, approached a retail jewelry store. One propped the outside door with a brick, and held the inside door while the others entered. Two suspects proceeded to the back of the store and smashed a diamond showcase with hammers, taking diamond merchandise.

JSA Madison Heights

Chicago, IL – November 3, 2017

At 11:40 a.m. three black male suspects (two of whom are pictured below) used a mallet to smash showcases and take high end watches at a retail jewelry store on the Magnificent Mile. The suspects escaped down three sets of escalators. The suspects, who were wearing hoodies, were reported to be between 17 and 25 years old, and between 5’10” and 6’. It has been reported that a similar smash and grab occurred at the same store on 10/13/17, in which the suspects escaped in a gold Jeep Cherokee. If you have information, contact the Chicago Police Department Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8384.

JSA Chicago

Portage, MI – October 25, 2017

At 8:23 p.m. four black suspects, one of whom is pictured below, carried out a smash and grab robbery of loose diamonds at a retail jewelry store. One suspect held the door while three suspects entered and went directly to the back of the store. Two suspect used hammers and began smashing showcases, while a third, possibly a female, put loose diamonds in a bag.

JSA Portage

Grand Rapids, MI – October 6, 2017

At 8:39 p.m. two black male suspects entered a retail jewelry store with small hammers and went to the diamond case. They smashed the top of the case and took loose stones. Suspects were in and out of the store in one minute and escaped in a white vehicle.

JSA Grand Rapids


  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. Having buzzers on the door can help to keep out potential robbers.
  3. Spreading high end watch and diamond merchandise among several showcases, and not concentrated in one or two showcases, can reduce the size of a smash and grab robbery.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. Sharing information and photos among local jewelers and police, and with JSA, regarding casings and suspects can help prevent crime and assist with investigations.

JSAJewelers’ Security Alliance is a non-profit trade association with nearly 20,000 members that has been providing crime information and assistance to the jewelry industry and law enforcement since 1883. Visit JSA’s website, www.jewelerssecurity.org, for more information on crime against jewelers or to post your own crime information.


JLL predicts up to 6 percent growth in holiday season spending

Survey reveals GenX to outspend Boomers this holiday season

(CHICAGO) - Now that the last trace of Halloween candy is gone, Americans plan to get started on holiday shopping. Nearly 30 percent of shoppers will start shopping prior to Thanksgiving, while just over 30 percent of shoppers will start stocking up over the five day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday.

NY Post reports new “Bling Ring” targeting celebrities

bling rings celebs

It started in January, when burglars boosted hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry and cash from “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan. Then, retired Laker and former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s Tarzana, Calif., home was hit, with thieves taking $300,000 in jewelry, including five NBA Championship rings. Next up: Someone broke a window in Fabio’s Los Angeles house and walked out with a vault that contained $200,000 in gold and watches.

GIA Retailer Lookup hits 7,500 retailers milestone

300% increase in consumer traffic in 2017


(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - Retailers around the world are getting noticed by shoppers looking for GIA (Gemological Institute of America) graded diamonds and stores with GIA educated staff. With 7,500 registered doors (as of the beginning of November) and counting, the GIA Retailer Lookup lets consumers search for retailers by city or postal code, and provides addresses, store hours and directions for registered stores. Consumers can visit https://www.gia.edu/retailer-lookup to find a retailer.

NRF reports over 164M consumers plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday

gifts e(WASHINGTON) - The biggest shopping weekend of the year is right around the corner and 69 percent of Americans - an estimated 164 million people - are planning to shop or are considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend, according to the annual survey released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. For the first time in survey history, the numbers include Cyber Monday in addition to Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Sunday.

Expert says counterfeit gold coins and bars a growing problem

counterfeit gold

(Kitco News) - A circulated fake gold bar in Canada could be the sign of growing sophistication within the counterfeit industry, according to one industry expert. 

In an exclusive interview with Kitco News, Beth Deisher, director of an anti-counterfeiting taskforce that is part of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), said she has seen a lot of fake bullion but the fake bar in phony Royal Canadian Mint packaging found this week represents a new dimension in the marketplace.

JA submits argument on Sales Tax Fairness to US Supreme Court

JA e(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA) has joined a group of 10 retail trade associations that have filed an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in support of South Dakota’s petition to the court to re-consider the Quill decision from 1992. That decision established the current system under which states are prohibited from collecting sales and use taxes from sellers that do not have a physical presence in-state, leading to the current uneven playing field between traditional and online sellers.