The Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA), a non-profit trade association providing crime prevention information and services to the jewelry industry has listed the top ten “red flags” or warning signs that a criminal is in your store, including robbers, distraction thieves and grab and run artists. None of the red flags below prove a crime is about to happen, but jewelers should be aware that the red flags below are how many of today’s jewelry criminals commonly behave. While genuine customers can also have habits like these, a jeweler should take special precautions when he or she sees the following red flags. Remember, no red flag is conclusive, but each additional red flag should raise the level of security.
Top Ten Red Flags
- Is the person talking on a cell phone? Inform the person that you will be happy to serve them as soon as they finish their call.
- Is the person wearing sunglasses? Suggest that the person remove the sunglasses to get a better view of the beautiful merchandise.
- Is the person wearing a hat pulled low or a hoodie to conceal his or her identity?
- Is the person wearing inappropriate clothing for the season, like a wool cap when the weather is in the 80s, or a raincoat on a sunny day?
- Are large numbers of people entering together, for example, three or more people? Will you be able to adequately protect your merchandise with a large number of people inside your store?
- Is the person putting large or bulky items, including coats, on the showcase, or moving pads, mirrors or other items on the showcase in order to block the jeweler’s view?
- Is the person asking unusual questions, particularly about security, hours or schedules, or looking with unusual interest at your cameras or security equipment?
- Is the person asking to see the “most expensive” watch or jewelry item in the store?
- Is the person making hand signals or other gestures that appear to be communicating with other people?
- Is the person walking around the store with their hands in their pockets in order to avoid touching anything in the store that would leave fingerprints.
The Jewelers’ Security Alliance is a non-profit trade association providing crime prevention information and services to the jewelry industry. JSA, founded in 1883, has 21,000 member locations and works closely with the FBI and law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. For more information contact the JSA at 800-537-0067, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.jewelerssecurity.org.