Let’s face it, jewellery is a dangerous business. There are people that want to take everything you’ve worked hard to create and are willing to harm you or your employees to get your goods. Most jewellers are aware of the dangers and take steps to prevent a problem. Organizations like the Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA) regularly publish advice on loss prevention and how to respond in the event of a robbery. Here are three ideas you may not have thought of but are quite effective.
Clean your keypads
Every day we punch our security code onto an alarm keypad. The chance of a thief getting the four numbers correct with random key presses is pretty slim. But what if they could figure out which four numbers are being used and all they need to do is guess the proper order? By the end of the day our fingers are imbedded with rouge, polishing compounds, and other messy substances necessary to the trade. After a while the numbers we use on the security keypad are covered in smudges. Be sure to clean the keypad weekly and more often if you spend most of your time at the bench. Why make it easy for them?
Use a fake video recorder
Even though there are new advances in surveillance technology allowing video storage off-site or in the cloud, many jewellers are still using old-fashioned VCRs. If your video storage is on site, hide the real device in a closet or even in your ceiling panels. Get a second VCR, plug it in and run video cables into the ceiling or wall and leave it in plain sight. Label it with big letters: “VIDEO SECURITY” and label the tape: “MASTER SECURITY RECORDING.” A night time burglar will think he is smart when he takes the tape or even the entire unit with him to prevent you from accessing the video. Imagine his surprise when he plugs it in only to find children’s cartoons instead of a record of his activities.
Establish a security alert network
Meet with other jewellers in your area to set up an alert network. This is one time when even the fiercest competitors need to cooperate for everyone’s safety and security. Each jeweller should have the phone numbers of three other jewellers ready for quick calling in the event of an incident. If you are held up, have a shoplifter, or think you are being cased for a future robbery; call your three alert contacts immediately after calling the police. Each jeweller you call needs to call his three contacts who call their contacts and so on down the line. Within moments you can spread a security net to cover dozens of other jewellers so that everyone is aware of the problem and can take action to prevent another incident or assist in the apprehension of the bad guys. With smart phones you can even send photos or video clips to help others identify the crooks.
In the retail jewellery business it is often said that it is not a matter of IF something will happen, it is a matter of WHEN. Be prepared down to the smallest detail and don’t make it easy for the crooks to get away with robbing you or another jeweller.