Police officers. Pilots. Firefighters. Truck drivers. What do these occupations all have in common?
They all have clear, inherent dangers associated with them and face higher mortality rates than most other professions. Naturally, those who make a career out of these jobs face adversity and life-threatening situations.
While the vast majority of jewelers will never encounter such extreme scenarios, it’s important to recognize that they are not entirely out of the question. The reality is that jewelry is still highly coveted by criminals who continue to resort to elaborate means in order to escape with valuable merchandise.
Preparing for the worst can help you avoid making dangerous security mistakes. Take these situations into account and know how to respond so you don’t commit a critical error.
1) Offering any resistance in words or actions during an armed robbery.
As frightening as this situation may be, the best thing to do if you find yourself in the presence a weapon-wielding criminal is to be passive.
Remain as calm as you possibly can and stay focused on taking quality mental notes of their appearance and the events that are taking place.
Speaking or moving might be enough to escalate an armed robbery to a hostage situation. While it may be difficult to stay still or keep fear from showing, under no circumstance should you ever appear to be resisting or brandish a weapon of your own. Ultimately, that could be the most dangerous mistake you ever make.
Even your best intentions could startle robbers and provoke them to take an unexpected action – including firing their guns that they only planned on using as a scare tactic.
Staying complacent may not prevent the loss of your merchandise, but those items can be replaced or compensated for. They are nothing compared to the loss of life, which is unlikely to happen if everyone stays calm.
Keep in mind it’s not just about your safety or the safety of your staff, but any actions also affect customers who are shopping at the time.
2) Chasing a suspect after an incident.
After you take those detailed mental notes, immediately transcribe them to a notepad or get to your computer and type up a list of bullet points. Promptly inform the police and let them be the ones to hunt down criminals – it is part of their job after all.
Taking matters into your own hands could cause the perpetrators to sense they might be in danger, prompting them to retaliate from the fear of being caught or assaulted.
3) Shooting at a fleeing suspect.
In the heat of the moment, this may seem like a sound idea. You could stop the suspect, get your merchandise back, and possibly prevent subsequent crimes.
But, consider for a moment in a state of clear judgment, the other possible scenarios that could occur:
- You could misfire and wound or kill an innocent bystander.
- There could be accomplices waiting in a getaway car who notice and stop you before there’s a chance to take down the fleeing suspect.
There’s literally no room for error in these kinds of situations so, once again, let law enforcement professionals handle it.
Developing an ongoing relationship with your local police department and asking them to patrol your area often may even prevent these types of situations from occurring in the first place.
4) Taking jewelry merchandise home.
Even if your home is as secure as your business, taking merchandise home provides wrong-doers with an additional opportunity to target you and your family.
Through casing, they may come to the conclusion that it’s actually more worthwhile to focus on robbing you at home than at your business.
Some criminals have resorted to using jewelers’ families as collateral and after collecting the jewelry that was brought home, they direct the jeweler back to their business and demand more.
On top of putting your family at risk, lacking proper physical, electronic, or procedural security at home could inadvertently compromise the security of your business.
5) Conducting cash delivery drops to a bank on an observable and repetitive schedule.Using the same employee and the same vehicle is as much of a clue to criminals as making deliveries on the same day at the same time. Make sure you vary your routine as much as you can.
Try coming up with different routes to take or occasionally use an armored courier service. These small actions can add up and make an enormous difference in your procedural security. However, you should never forget to have a backup plan when something goes awry.
Of course, there are many other perils associated with being a jeweler.
The scenarios are endless, but it's important to take the proper precautions.
An easy way to get everyone at your business up to date on loss prevention best practices is to sign up for Jewelers Mutual's online training platform – JM University.
Just as police officers and firefighters prepare for tense situations and pilots and truck drivers prepare for adverse weather, the extra preparation you take can be extremely impactful.