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.