Last updateTue, 23 Apr 2019 11pm

CAI Insurance alert - Holiday Crime Wave

CAI Insurance Agency, Inc. has been notified by Jewelers Security Alliance of multiple smash and grab robbers targeting Michigan jewelers. There has been seven robberies or attempts in the last five weeks. Other recent hits were in Ohio, Wisconsin, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

The smash and grab robbers have been terrorizing jewelers in Michigan and other states during the busy selling season. 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. 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. Smash and grab robbers can be violent and often travel throughout the country committing their crimes.

In the recent losses and attempts, the suspects have concealed their identities with hoods. However, nine suspects have been arrested, all from Detroit, who carried out four of the incidents. To see a wild 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/

Recent Michigan robberies or attempts have included:

  • Auburn Hills, MI 12/15/18 two black male suspects
  • Taylor, MI 12/16/18 two black male suspects
  • Troy, MI 12/10/18 Pepper spray used to subdue guard
  • Clinton Township, MI 12/06/18 three black male suspects
  • Auburn Hills, MI 12/14/18
  • Grandville, MI 12/15/18 two black male suspects

CAI Recommendations:

  • Do not resist in a smash and grab robbery. In addition to sledgehammers and other dangerous tools, the suspects may be armed with guns.
  • We’re all in this together, so share information! Jewelers Helping Jewelers and JSA are great sources for all jewelers. Utilize their expertise to help solve these crimes.
  • 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 an audible glass breakage alarm on your showcases can scare smash and grab robbers away. They are usually trying to remain in a target store for less than a minute.
  • The robbers have been particularly targeting loose diamonds and high end watches. Spreading high end watch 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 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.
  • During business hours, ensure that two employees are always on premises.
  • Test your alarm system and camera system
  • Stay vigilant
  • Keep showcases locked except when actually taking merchandise out or returning merchandise to the showcase.
  • Keep higher value items in a locked safe until you feel the customer is valid.

CAI Insurance Agency recommends that you train your staff on what to do during these situations. For more information on how to train your staff or any further questions please contact CAI Insurance Agency, Inc. at 513-221-1140 and ask for Patti Young (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Laura Clyde (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). You may visit CAI online at http://www.cai-insurance.com.

Learn more about the Jewelers Security Alliance at https://jewelerssecurity.org.