A grab-and-run theft is when a criminal(s) walks into a jewelry store, appearing to browse the merchandise. They typically move toward the most valuable merchandise on the showroom floor and ask to see a particular piece. From there, they simply run off with whatever they asked to view.
The number of small-scale thefts reported to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance every year remains staggering. Each incident may represent a small dollar amount when compared to other types of crimes, but they add up fast.
How do you prevent grab-and-run theft?
Ask to see a customer’s ID before allowing the individual to try on merchandise, no matter what its value is. Once you’ve verified that the ID is legitimate, keep it until the customer has returned the piece. Remember to show an item only after you’ve examined the ID, though. Multitasking can be risky, because some grab-and-run attempts have featured suspects taking merchandise directly from the hands of sales associates before the ID was deemed legitimate.
Never show more than one piece at a time. If a customer is adamant about comparing pieces side by side, put one on yourself and let the customer compare. Never have more than two pieces out of your showcases at once, as some criminals are bold enough to attempt grab-and-run thefts with entire trays of rings.
Many criminals will appear nervous or fidgety before attempting a grab-and-run. Document suspicious incidents like these so if the suspect returns, the rest of your staff will know how to properly react.
If you don’t know what type of criminal behavior to be on the lookout for, these crimes will continue to affect the industry a few pieces at a time.
Watch this video to hear Larry Spicer, vice president of loss prevention and risk management at Jewelers Mutual Group, talk about the red flags to watch for and tips for preventing grab and run thefts from happening at your jewelry store.
Let all of your customers know as soon as they walk into your store that your business has basic security procedures in place. To assist, Jewelers Mutual provides displays, stickers and window clings to help get the point across. Order yours today.
Interested in other tips, tools, and techniques aimed at helping you run a more secure and successful jewelry business? Browse more of our Business Tips.