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To catch a jewelry thief

thief eJewelers Mutual’s top tricks and traits of criminals

(NEENAH, Wis.) - Did you know that even with the best security setup you could be a victim of a clever thief? The best technology is only as good as the technology user’s instincts and judgment. That’s why it’s important to know some of the top ruses used by thieves as well as the telltale behaviors thieves exhibit.

Couture Criminal

Many thieves are clever enough to pose as a well-dressed, professional client. They’re counting on appearances to get past your controlled access system. If you carry highly expensive and commonly targeted items like luxury watches, consider showing this merchandise by appointment only. An armed, off-duty uniformed police officer also helps intimidate a thief.

Blue-Collar Thieves

Another successful strategy for thieves is posing as a repair or delivery person. Not only can this kind of thief steal valuables, they can scope out or tamper with your security system. That’s why it’s important to allow all independent contractors on premise by appointment only, check and verify their identification and make sure there’s always someone with them at all times during their visit.

Calling In the Crime

Resist the temptation to make an “easy” sale by phone or e-mail. Criminals will request merchandise to be shipped immediately, usually to a non-local address and give you a fake credit card number. Thieves might even scan a fake ID to match the card. And credit card fraud isn’t normally covered by insurance.

As Jewelers Mutual Vice President of Loss Prevention David Sexton explains, “It’s important to trust your gut when it comes to assessing the risk an individual might pose. Close observation and consistently following sound security guidelines can go a long way in keeping your store secure.” And Sexton knows what he’s talking about. In addition to developing and executing loss prevention efforts for Jewelers Mutual, he is responsible for initiating and maintaining key relationships in the jewelry, insurance and alarm industries, and law enforcement community.

Call Crooks’ Bluff with These Top “Tells”

Just like the person bluffing in a high stakes poker game, thieves display behaviors that often give them away. In poker, these behaviors are called “tells” because they provide clues about what the person is thinking. The same can be said of criminals. If you know what to look for you have a much better chance of identifying a thief and anticipating their behavior.

Some obvious and not so obvious behaviors to watch for include:

  • Appearing nervous
  • Using a cell phone
  • Entering as a group and then splitting up
  • Asking to compare items
  • Telling a personal story
  • Seeming interested in everything

Sometimes suspicious behavior is intentional. For example, a thief might share a personal story to win your trust or distract you. But other behaviors are involuntary. “Of course, remaining vigilant about potential scams and paying close attention to behavior are just two tools in a jeweler’s security arsenal,” Sexton cautions. “For a more in-depth look, retailers might consider attending a webinar like the one I’ll be hosting for Jewelers Mutual. We’ll be covering everything from security guards, showcases and surveillance cameras to safes, alarm systems and locked door buzzers and mantraps.”

The webinar is titled Jewelry Business Security Upgrades and will take place on Thursday, April 20 at 1:00 p.m. CDT. Anyone interested can visit Jewelers Mutual’s Clarity Blog (http://www.JewelersMutual.com/Clarity) to learn more about the advice that will be shared and register to attend.

E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have questions about the security of your jewelry business, or contact a Jewelers Mutual sales manager at 800-558-6411, ext. 2118 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn about insurance options to protect your business.

To learn more about Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, visit http://www.jewelersmutual.com.

Russian gangsters charged in diamond fraud scheme

russian shutterstock

NEW YORK (WABC) --Ten suspected Russian gangsters were arrested April 5th for allegedly defrauding merchants in New York, Las Vegas and Mumbai out of more than $9 million in diamonds.

Investigators said the members of the group, under investigation since 2015, wrote bad checks, forged documents and used other methods to convince wholesalers to give them diamonds on a promise to pay on delivery.

Court records said the group walked away with millions in diamonds and left the victims high and dry. The diamonds were then resold through the Diamond District in Manhattan.

Goldman Sachs says mining platinum from asteroids “realistic”

Just one small space rock could earn cosmic miners a whopping £40 billion (over $51 billion US) if they can figure out how to bring it back to Earth

Goldman Sachs asteroids

The global investment bank Goldman Sachs has claimed mining asteroids for precious metals is a “realistic” goal.

It has released a report exploring the possibility of using an “asteroid-grabbing spacecraft” to extract platinum from space rocks.

"While the psychological barrier to mining asteroids is high, the actual financial and technological barriers are far lower," the report said, according to Business Insider.

Preliminary autopsy released for veteran jewelry salesman

death of bryon eWe’ve been following the case of jewelry industry veteran and Lafayette Township (Medina County, OH) Trustee Bryon Macron who went missing in December under suspicious circumstances. His body was discovered February 21st by a kayaker in Chippewa Lake. Last week authorities released preliminary autopsy reports which showed Macron had been stabbed multiple times in his neck, forearms and shoulders.

Analyst sees signs gold could soar to $1500

gold futures

Gold is poised to rally to levels last seen four years ago as rising inflation and negative real interest rates combine to boost demand, according to Incrementum AG, which says that the precious metal may be in the early stages of a bull market.

Prices may climb to $1,400 to $1,500 an ounce this year, said Ronald-Peter Stoeferle, managing partner at the Liechtenstein-based company, which oversees 100 million Swiss francs ($101.5 million). Spot bullion -- which was at $1,249 on Wednesday -- last traded at $1,400 in September 2013.

“Pink Star” diamond fetches highest price ever for auctioned jewel

pink diamond

A giant pink diamond has become the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction, fetching $71.2 million at Sotheby's in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Clocking in at 59.60 carats, the Pink Star was the largest polished diamond ever to go on the auction block. Sotheby's said it was sold to a client who phoned in a bid.

The final price was 553 million Hong Kong dollars, including the buyer's premium, or auction house charge.

This isn't the first time the Pink Star has gone up for sale.

FL jeweler thwarts suspected theft attempt by locking woman in vault

fl pn boca bungled jewelry heist

Jeweler Vladislav “Bobby” Yampolsky sensed something was wrong about the woman trying to buy more than $6 million in diamonds from his store in Boca Raton.

She claimed to represent a potential diamond buyer, but didn’t carry any tools of the trade to inspect the jewels.

Then she tried to distract Yampolsky several times while the diamonds sat on a table, police said.