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Some thoughts about Security


This is an offshoot of Theft at Art Shows, but it’s more general
than that. I’m not an expert on security, I just live in it every
day. The idea behind good security is what I said, that a few people
misunderstood, that even honest people might do bad things. Security
is not based on trust, it’s based on a system. Good security means
that you don’t have to trust people - well, you still do, but it’s
not dependant on it. I live in a world of man-traps, security
cameras, monitors, etc., every day. I am trusted, but then again, I
don’t have to be, because there are systems in place and protocols.
I know a store lately who discovered that they had been embezzled
for years by an employee - like 1/2 million. We all knew him, we all
trusted him, it was a huge surprise. As I said about “honest people”

  • he had kids, there were medical bills, this and that, yadda yadda,
    one day there was something easy, then anotherat least I
    assume, because we don’t know. Without

getting into whether he was ever really honest or not, the point is
that the store’s security system was based on trust, and he took
advantage of that. The essence of security is don’t trust anybody,
which is not the same as saying be suspicious or un-trusting. Good
fences make good neighbors. In my world I take it as a matter of
course that I’m being watched and monitored when I go into a diamond
dealer or some such - I also know a trusted, embarrassingly well
known metalsmith who palmed a 4 carat diamond not realizing he was
on camera. Even though many here are talking about $10 rings, which
are hardly going to break you if one gets pinched, it’s best to just
get security straight in your mind to begin with. One day you might
get a call, and walk out of a colored stone dealer with $100,000
worth of goods in your pocket - not so hard to do, really. Good
security is about controlling your goods at all times, knowing where
everything is at all times, and not depending on trust, but depending
on a good system that runs by itself no matter whether the people
around are saints or crooks. There was a traveling colored stone
dealer in our building who put down his briefcase in the elevator,
and then when he reached down for it again, it was gone. He let down
his guard for just a moment, and he violated basic procedure, and
that’s all it took - they think it was the Columbians, by the way -
he was targeted. Finally, the bottom line is not to be all
hardnosed, and suspicious, and some kind of paranoid creepy person.
The point is to have good security to begin with, and then you’ll
never have to become that, and you can also sleep nights.