About JSA in the Media
Police make arrest in murder of Nebraska jeweler. (National Jeweler)
Jewelry criminals arrests up compared to last year. (Southern Jewelry News)
"U.S. Jewelry Crime Report Notes Positive Trends." (Rapaport, Diamonds.Net)
"Jewelry Crime Falls as Police Make More Arrests." Review of Jewelers' Security Alliance U.S. crime statistics for the first six months of 2014. Arrests of suspects in the first six months of 2014 who attacked the jewelry industry increased 77% compared to the previous year. (JCK Online)

Three black male suspects entered a retail jewelry store and attempted to smash watch showcases with hammers. However, the showcases had laminated glass that did not break after many blows of the hammers. When the suspects realized that they would not be able to smash into the showcases, they left the store without taking any merchandise.RECOMMENDATION: Showcases with high-security glass can prevent losses from smash and grab attacks.

Suspect Image
The Surfside (FL) Police Department is seeking to locate the male Hispanic wanted suspect pictured above, Pedro Enrique Cuellar Valdes, for Grand Theft. On October 29, 2014 the suspect went into a retail jewelry store at 3:45 p.m. and carried out a grab and run of two high-end watches. The suspect, who was driven away in a white, four-door Nissan or Acura, is described as 27-years-old, 5’9”, with black hair, brown eyes and a tattoo on his left wrist. If you have information, contact Detective A. Lorente of the Surfside Police Department at 305-777-1592. It is reported that the suspect may have carried out similar grab and runs in Ft. Lauderdale, Sarasota, Boca Raton and Sunrise.

November 4, 2014

Mitchell Terrell Brigham, 28, was arrested on 11/4/14 after burglarizing a local jewelry store and pawn shop in Chipley, FL the day before. On 11/3/14 around nine in the morning, he broke into a jewelry store by kicking in the front door. Once he gained entry he smashed a showcase and left with merchandise. He then traded the merchandise for crack cocaine. Later that day Brigham met up with two friends who were driving to Georgia, and when they arrived in Georgia they got into an argument. His friends then kicked him out the car and left him in Georgia. He ended up stealing a Nissan Altima to get back to Chipley. Once he arrived in Chipley, around ten at night, he burglarized a pawn shop by driving the stolen vehicle through the front door. When he gained entry he stole jewelry and assault rifles which he ended up trading for more crack cocaine. Police from Georgia provided Chipley Police Department with video of Brigham stealing the vehicle from a convenience store which helped them identify Brigham as a suspect. But before Chipley police obtained the video Chipley residents were identifying Brigham as the suspect. The next day, 11/4/14, Chipley Police arrested Brigham, who admitted to investigators he burglarized the two businesses. The stolen assault rifles were also recovered.

November 4, 2014

Anton Lamont Brewer, 21, Lamar Keith Garvin, 49, Michael Richardson, 49, and Veronica Smith, 54, have all been arrested and convicted for their connections to three jewelry store robberies in Virginia. One robbery occurred in November of 2012 and the other two robberies occurred in February and March of 2013. They would enter the stores right before closing, display at least one firearm, and threaten everyone with violence before grabbing merchandise and fleeing. Richardson, Smith, and Garvin were sentenced on 8/15/14. Richardson and Smith both face 15 to 87 months, and Garvin faces 30 years. Brewer was sentenced on 11/4/14 and faces 12 years. Cedric Purnell Coleman, who is being held in Maryland on unrelated charges, also has connections to these crimes and will be tried later on.

Irvington, NJ – November 2, 2014

Late on Sunday night burglars cut the phone lines, disabling the alarm, and then entered a retail jewelry store from the furniture store next door by making a hole in the wall shared with the furniture store. The burglars used a circular saw to cut through the jewelry store safe, taking a large quantity of gold and diamond jewelry.

For information on burglary prevention, see the recommendations on the bottom of this homepage.

Lancaster, PA – October 14, 2014

A black male suspect entered a retail jewelry store and asked to look at loose diamonds. As the sales associate was showing him some diamonds, the suspect grabbed the diamonds and fled. Witnesses reported that the suspect left in a mid-to-late-1990s purple/maroon Chevrolet Cavalier, possibly with a white license plate of an unknown state. If you have information, contact Detective Steve Newman at 717-569-6401 ext. 452.

Palo Alto, CA – October 22, 2014

A black female suspect entered a retail jewelry store at 4:00 p.m. and worked with a sales associate looking at watches. About two minutes later a black male suspect entered, pulled out a gun, and ordered a sales associate at the front desk to get on the ground. The female also pulled out a gun and ordered the sales associate she was working with to the ground. The suspects left with 22 high-end watches. The male is described as 35-40, medium build and with a beard. The male suspect was wearing a navy, long sleeved jumpsuit, a white elastic dust mask around his neck, and a white ACE Hardware cap with a red brim. The female suspect was approximately 30-years-old with a thin build and shoulder length wavy hair that appeared to be a wig. She wore a U.S. Postal Service vest over a white tee shirt. If you have information, contact the police at 650-329-2413.

Grove City, PA- October 29, 2014

At 6:15 p.m. a black male suspect entered a retail jewelry store, and after browsing, asked to see a high-end watch. He discussed price with the sales associate, and when the watch was pulled from the showcase and placed on the counter pad, the suspect grabbed the watch and ran from the store. A store employee reported that the suspect left in a white or beige foreign SUV. The suspect is described as 6’, 170 lbs., with short hair and a dark complexion. If you have information, contact State Trooper Eric Maurer of the Pennsylvania State Police at 724-662-6162.


Even if a jeweler follows all the right procedures to discourage robberies, the jeweler may still wind up a robbery target. JSA's main advice if you do have a robbery is this: Do not resist, and cooperate fully. For many years the JSA has promoted the following lifesaving guidelines on what to do in a robbery:

1. Obey the orders of the robber. Do not say or do anything, or even raise your hands, unless told to do so. Cooperate fully and try not to panic.

2. Do not attempt to disarm the robber or reach for a concealed weapon. Assume that the robber will shoot without hesitation.

3. Never do or say anything that would anger the robber. Example: do not stare at him and have him think that you are trying to memorize his facial characteristics.

4. The less time the robbers are in the store, the less risk there is of injury. Once the robbers have your merchandise, they can be expected to leave quickly.

5. Do not press a holdup alarm, if your premises has one, until the robbers have left the store and you have locked the door. If the police arrive while the robbers are in the store, or if the robbers return, a deadly hostage situation could develop.

6. Expect to be threatened. One of the robber's weapons is the fear he creates. Robbers commonly say: "I'll kill you if you make a move!" This is a typical threat. Expect it. Keep calm.

7. Frequently the robber will force the jeweler and his staff to a back room or washroom. Expect to be tied up or handcuffed, or told to lie on the floor. Do as you are told.

8. If you are out of the robbers' sight, in a back room or elsewhere, stay where you are. Do not intrude on the crime scene.

9. Do not chase the robbers or follow them out of the store.

10. Call the police immediately after the robbers leave and you have locked the door. Do not wipe or try to clean the cases or other surfaces, or otherwise disturb the crime scene before the police respond, because you may destroy fingerprints or other valuable evidence. Try to memorize all the locations touched by the robbers so that you can advise the police about possible fingerprint evidence when they arrive.

11. Try to keep witnesses present until the police arrive. At the least, obtain the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses.

12. Do not talk to the media or allow them to film in your premises. Refuse all media interviews.

13. It is important to rehearse with all employees what they should do in a robbery. Being prepared may help prevent an employee from panicking and provoking violence.

1. Jewelers should confirm with their alarm company that their alarm set-up will provide protection from entry from the roof, side walls and all possible points of entry, in addition to doors and windows.

2. All jewelry premises need line security for their alarm system, and need to test their system from time to time.

3. Police and jewelers must respond to all alarm signals, and examination of only the ground floor doors and windows is not sufficient. The roof, sidewalls and all possible points of entry must be examined, including through neighboring premises. Rooftop burglars have come through the roof in mall locations as well as in other types of locations, and many jewelry stores have been entered by breaking through sidewalls after gaining entry to an adjacent store from the roof of that adjacent store.

4. Do not position a safe on an outside wall or a wall of a neighboring office or store that would allow burglars to break through a wall and penetrate the safe without even entering the jeweler’s premises.

5. TL-15 and TL-30 rated safes and not adequate protection from today’s burglars, who can purchase inexpensive cutting devices from Home Depot or Lowe’s that can cut into and penetrate these safes.

6. Don’t leave merchandise out at night in showcases.

7. Don't cover showcases when closed with cloth or other material. It is safer when potential burglars case your store to see empty, exposed showcases rather than covered showcases.

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