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To Catch A Jewelry Thief: Top Tricks and Traits of Criminals

NEENAH, WI. Wednesday, April, 12, 2017 - Did you know that even with the best security setup you could be a victim of a clever thief? The best technology is only as good as the technology user’s instincts and judgment. That’s why it’s important to know some of the top ruses used by thieves as well as the telltale behaviors thieves exhibit.

Couture Criminal
Many thieves are clever enough to pose as a well-dressed, professional client. They’re counting on appearances to get past your controlled access system. If you carry highly expensive and commonly targeted items like luxury watches, consider showing this merchandise by appointment only. An armed, off-duty uniformed police officer also helps intimidate a thief.

Blue-Collar Thieves
Another successful strategy for thieves is posing as a repair or delivery person. Not only can this kind of thief steal valuables, they can scope out or tamper with your security system. That’s why it’s important to allow all independent contractors on premise by appointment only, check and verify their identification and make sure there’s always someone with them at all times during their visit.

Calling In the Crime
Resist the temptation to make an “easy” sale by phone or email. Criminals will request merchandise to be shipped immediately, usually to a non-local address and give you a fake credit card number. Thieves might even scan a fake ID to match the card. And credit card fraud isn’t normally covered by insurance.

As Jewelers Mutual Vice President of Loss Prevention David Sexton explains, “It’s important to trust your gut when it comes to assessing the risk an individual might pose. Close observation and consistently following sound security guidelines can go a long way in keeping your store secure.” And Sexton knows what he’s talking about. In addition to developing and executing loss prevention efforts for Jewelers Mutual, he is responsible for initiating and maintaining key relationships in the jewelry, insurance and alarm industries, and law enforcement community.

Call Crooks’ Bluff with These Top “Tells.”
Just like the person bluffing in a high stakes poker game, thieves display behaviors that often give them away. In poker, these behaviors are called “tells” because they provide clues about what the person is thinking. The same can be said of criminals. If you know what to look for you have a much better chance of identifying a thief and anticipating their behavior.

Some obvious and not so obvious behaviors to watch for include:
- Appearing nervous
- Using a cell phone
- Entering as a group and then splitting up
- Asking to compare items
- Telling a personal story
- Seeming interested in everything

Sometimes suspicious behavior is intentional. For example, a thief might share a personal story to win your trust or distract you. But other behaviors are involuntary. “Of course, remaining vigilant about potential scams and paying close attention to behavior are just two tools in a jeweler’s security arsenal,” Sexton cautions. “For a more in-depth look, retailers might consider attending a webinar like the one I’ll be hosting for Jewelers Mutual. We’ll be covering everything from security guards, showcases and surveillance cameras to safes, alarm systems and locked door buzzers and mantraps.”

The webinar is titled Jewelry Business Security Upgrades and will take place on Thursday, April 20 at 1:00 p.m. CDT. Anyone interested can visit Jewelers Mutual’s Clarity Blog ( to learn more about the advice that will be shared and register to attend.

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, the only insurer dedicated solely to serving the jewelry industry in the United States and Canada, was founded in 1913 by a group of Wisconsin jewelers to meet their unique insurance needs. Today, Jewelers Mutual remains the trusted insurance advisor and loss-prevention expert for jewelry businesses including retailers large and small, wholesalers, manufacturers, custom designers and appraisers. Consumers also put their trust in Jewelers Mutual to protect their personal jewelry and the special moments it represents. The company's strong financial position is reflected in its 30 consecutive ratings of "A+ Superior" from A.M. Best Company.

AT: 04/12/2017 04:58:17 PM   LINK TO THIS NEWSLETTER

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