If that car that was abandoned by the suspects was stolen just for
using in this crime, and they obviously planned it for a long time
and knew who to follow for 500 miles, I think the suspects know and
maybe even worked with the victims at some point in the past.
Is it common for professional jewelers or dealers to move half a
million dollars of items without an armored car service? I think that
probably made them a huge target that they disliked paying
professionals to deliver a half a million dollars of jewelry. It’s
fortunate no one was killed or injured.
I wouldn’t drive through Chicago with 600 in cash, 500,000? That’s
More than you can imagine. I figure there were at least two vehicles
following the dealers van. That way they rotated who was following
and did not arouse suspicion. When they abandoned the damaged
vehicle, there was obviously at least one other car to pick them up
in. The bad guys are very organized. They follow store owner/managers
home. Go to shows to see what people have. Check websites. Let air
out of tires while you are buying at wholesale pickup locations so
you break down a half hour away. If they have a cell phone jammer you
cannot call for help. Reps are regularly on the road with 500k to
2million in inventory. There are often leaks in the security
companies and why many will transport themselves. The fewer that know
what you do and what you have, the safer you are. If you read the
article closely, the dealer had six others with him, so that’s
seven. I would guess a few of them were security. They took 3-4
suitcases of jewelry and loose diamonds. I’m willing to bet it was in
the millions. 500k would easily fit in a single briefcase.
I wouldn't drive through Chicago with 600 in cash, 500,000? That's crazy.
In defense of Chicago. This robbery happened far from the city.
Would you think it crazy to drive through rural Wisconsin with money?
Chicago, by and large (and it is large) is quite safe. I’ve lived in
or near Chicago for most of the last 44 years and I’ve never been
mugged, molested, or even picked on, though some money was once
stolen from my dining room table with 6 people and a dog sleeping in
the house. Is it crazy to have money in my house?
Sorry to react. It’s just that people who don’t know Chicago seem to
picture Al Capone or something, like it’s the wild west here. There
are some scary neighborhoods, like any city, but it’s a great-- and
mostly safe-- city.
Some tips on safety from the jewelry trenches.
Between the fire, acids, sharp tools and thieves this is a dangerous
I’ve had buddies in the trade get shot at, pistol whipped and their
families held hostage. I have one friend who had to kill someone in
an old west style shoot out. I’m sure that it still haunts him to
I never ever tell strangers in a bar what I do unless I check them
out carefully. Only a few trusted neighbors know what Tim and I do.
We never tell anyone where we live unless we know them. We don’t use
a trackable smart cell phone. We are well trained and armed. When I
was single I used to carry business cards that said I sold insurance.
I can lie just fine. I just can’t remember what I lied about. No one
ever says “Oh you sell insurance, tell me more.” If a guy was hitting
on me in a bar and he annoyed me I’d give him my card and say “Call
me later.” The 800 number at the bottom was a hot gay sex phone line.
“Hi this is Biff. I’m naked. What are you wearing?” When we are
carrying large amounts of cash or jewelry we dress in ratty jeans and
t shirts and drive an old ratty car. When we worked at a fancy
jewelry store we would always take a different route and vehicles to
a from the store each time. I’m even nervous about carrying reusable
grocery bags that our suppliers and refiners give us.
Be very nervous if a person walks into your store in a nice suit
with tennis shoes. Especially if they look at your security cameras
before looking at the jewelry.
If you have a false alarm be prepared to get hit in another week or
Often a pro will throw a rock at a store window hard enough to set
the alarm off. They then duck around the corner and time the arrival
of the Police. Then a week or so later after closing when you’ve
forgotten about the false alarm, the thieves will hit and take what
they can in the ten minutes or so it takes the cops to get there.
I’ve had the police take as long as 45 minutes to respond to an
alarm. Lucky for me it was a false alarm that time.
Anyone can buy car tracking devices these days. I have a good friend
who is a stone broker who got robbed at gun point after he was
Professional thieves work often in multiple teams. They’ll have a
car parked across the street from a jewelry store. If they see a
person in a suit with a sample case go in the store they call their
buddies to follow him or her. If they see that person go into another
jewelry store, then it’s game on. While the salesperson is in the
store a tracking device is placed on the car and well you can guess
No matter that my friend is well trained and often armed. He drove
all over the city. Drove down into residential neighborhoods, doubled
back and took the most circuitous route he could to a hotel with a
locked and secure parking lot. He still got robbed right in front of
Stay safe out there folks.
A colleague was at one point contemplating doing the gold purchasing
circuit here in Australia. there are a lot of small collectors who’d
rather not deal with dealers or governments and wanted to deal
exclusively in cash - weird but each to their own. It’s a strange
world we live in…
But the point is - at the end of a few weeks travelling you could
end up with several kg of gold… And you’d always have lots of cash
Scurity in the end won out…
Never thought about giving out business cards to relative strangers
but I NEVER put my address on any of them, and usually have a fake
phone number on them -if someone is really interested they can get in
touch via email!
When I received my Guinness World Record for a piece of jewellery. I
had a local newspaper call me for an interview. I refused, I didn`t
want any unsolicited persons coming to my home middle of the night,
plain & simple!’ I only allowed one well known Canadian-wide, ethnic
newspaper meet me. you have just no idea these days where that paper
could land. I knew of them & accepted the meeting. rather be safe
Official Guinness World Record Holder!
Didn’t I just read about a diamond dealer who sold half a million in
diamonds for cash; Only to discover the bulk of the money was paper
cut and banded in real dollars on the top of each stack. This was in
Las Vegas about two months ago.