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Robberies in the USA

All, I have over the last 20 years seen many of my business
acquaintances suffer the consequences of robberies. Robberies seem
to occur only when the jewelry is a large quantity and is accompanied
by enough expensive gemstones to make the risk worth while. In the
last week a large jewelry theft gang was caught as reported in the
Phoenix, Arizona, USA newspaper. This gang consisted of retired
police detectives, inside store operators, professional thief’s, and
others. They had operatives from the West coast of the USA to the
East Coast of the USA. Their mode of operation was to find out
enough about the jewelry, perform surveillance on the
owner, and hit them when the circumstance presented the least risk of
being caught. Gang members would perform surveillance for as long as
necessary to get the opportunity to strike. This gang confronted
individuals with force and stole specific jewelry. A second mode of
operation is also coming to light. A quite a few show dealers and
traveling sales persons whom are finally getting enough inventory
together to be a quality dealer are becoming victims. In these cases
the dealer is being watched for a period of time by someone at the
shows or the store. This period of time could be over years of being
a dealer at a particular show or selling to a store. As specific
dealers become prime the surveillance is intensified to include
descriptions of the dealer, how they pack, their vehicle, their route
of travel, etc. All this is passed from the person doing
the surveillance to the thief. The thief will follow the dealer
until the circumstance presents itself to steal the unattended
jewelry. Hits have occurred 1500 miles from the last shown
destination. The dealers were followed for several days until they
left the jewelry unattended. It is speculated that tracking devices
may be planted on the vehicle to make it less suspicious to follow.
In these robberies confrontation was not desired. Most of these hits
took less than 10 minutes to steal the goods or take the whole
vehicle. Beware the least suspicious person at the show may be
watching you a lot closer than what you think. Beware of security
personnel, show staff, club members, etc. Do not pass out
about what you are planning to do after the show. Do not
let anyone take your picture. In 10 minutes, 10 years of work could
disappear forever. This could happen to you.

Gerry Galarneau

This is an interesting topic, last year there were measures going
through congress related to crime against the jewelry industry, and
you can find more on it thought JCK or MJSA. Ugly
statistics, like that crime against the jewelry industry is up 500% in
4 years. Also, last year about this time the JCK magazine had a really
good set of articles about how to be safer during the up-coming show
season. If you are showing, don’t park your car at the same place
twice, (if you have to drive to and from the show on show days).
Don’t walk to your car alone, and don’t put the stuff in the trunk,
with out looking around to see who is near. Also, a common ploy at
the shows is some one coming up to you in a parking lot, with a map,
and asking directions. Their partner then, when you can’t see through
the map, tries to take your product. Don’t let people at the show
(buyers) know where you are staying. Don’t tell people at the hotels
and restaurants who you are, what you do, where you are staying, etc
etc. Don’t tell people how you got there, or how you are leaving…
but feel free to inform people that your product is vaulted, and then
shipped brinks or some such. Get the target off YOUR back. Sure,
business cards and all that are passed out like confetti… but be
recalcitrant in giving you don’t think is completely
necessary. Tell them to come by and take a look at the booth, or what
ever you need to do to keep in business, but be careful about it. If
you can, ship the product through a secure carrier, at least then it
will be fully insured. There was a diamond robbery this past year in
Cottonwood AZ, around 100miles from PHX. the robbers followed the
armored truck all the way from Phx. Just do your parts to be careful.

A. Austin

If you exhibit at shows and are concerned about security (and you
should be!), you might want to read an article I wrote for Lapidary
Journal (Jan. 2000 issue) on this subject. Gerry Galarneau is right:
You can lose 10 years of work in 10 minutes � or less! You can access
the article at…


yup getting ripped off is a drag…especially when you pay someone to
watch it and it gets stolen anyway… I was in the harrison st
greyhound station { my motorcycle blew up in montana so I had no
choice but “greyhound”]… when my belongings were put into
"“safekeeping”" ha ha … i was charged extra money… I had a
seven hour layover in chicago so I did not want to lugg all my
baggage with me… let alone the risk of carrying 14,000 worth of
jewelry in chicago at night… when I returned to get my baggage
only one bag was missing… the one that had my jewelry, medicine,
and all my personal items… greyhound was perhaps the rudist
individuals I have ever dealt with…they got two days till it’s 90
days since the theft and no contact…I have spent a lot of time and
money on long distance trying to reach these people… i would ask
that there be a general boycott and a letter writing campaign against
"greyhound" as they have been very unfair to this

Los Angeles and New York City, where the most jewelry related
robberies occured in the past, have been very effectively cracking
down on jewelry theft. The thieves have now moved thier operations
to smaller cities where the authorities don’t have the resources to
devote to our industry. In North Carolina there have been numorous

Larry Seiger