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Preventing smash-and-grab robberies: Seven practical tips to keep your store secure

While you want your jewellery to be visible to customers, it is important to also keep your inventory secure from potential robbers. One way to do this is to ensure your showcases are strong and durable by installing resilient glass.

As a jeweller, you understand the importance of protecting your store and its valuable inventory. Unfortunately, smash-and-grab robberies can happen quickly and unexpectedly, leaving you feeling vulnerable and at risk of losing your livelihood. These types of crimes can be devastating, but, by following these seven practical tips you can help prevent smash-and-grab robberies and keep your shop secure.

Tip 1: Check windows and doors

Securing all windows and doors is crucial when it comes to protecting your property against smash-and-grab robbers. By taking proactive measures to fortify these entry points, you can significantly enhance the overall security of your premises. One effective step to consider is the installation of anti-intrusion window film and riot glass, which make it much more difficult for criminals to break in.

For doors, utilize secure locks that are resistant to picking or tampering, along with high-quality deadbolts or smart locks for advanced security features. Lastly, reinforcing doors with metal frames can significantly increase their strength and resistance to forced entry. These frames provide a sturdy foundation and make it much more challenging for criminals to kick or break down the door.

Tip 2: Install a security system

Investing in a comprehensive security system is a wise decision, as this can provide an invaluable added layer of protection and serve as a deterrent to potential smash-and-grab robbers.

There are several components to consider when setting up a robust security system. Incorporating motion detectors and surveillance cameras can help monitor activities, deter criminal behaviour, and provide valuable evidence in case of an incident. Opt for high-quality cameras that offer clear resolution and a wide field of view and consider features such as night vision capabilities to ensure continuous surveillance even in low-light conditions. It is essential to position motion detectors and cameras in a way that covers all vulnerable areas, including entrances, display cases, and cash registers.

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Using a door buzzer system or mantrap (i.e. access control vestibule) is another way to defend your store against smash-and-grab robberies. Make sure any security system is professionally installed and monitored and be sure to display a sign indicating your premises are protected.

Tip 3: Optimize showcases and displays

While you want your jewellery to be visible to customers, it is important to also keep your inventory secure from potential robbers. One way to do this is to ensure your showcases are strong and durable by installing resilient glass, which can greatly reduce the amount of physical damage during a robbery.

In addition to robust glass showcases, consider utilizing locked displays or safes for extremely high-value items, as this adds an extra layer of protection.

Tip 4: Implement cash-handling procedures

Smart cash-handling procedures are essential to prevent smash-and-grab robberies. Ensure sales staff limit the amount of cash kept in the register and to regularly deposit money in a safe. Additionally, consider using a drop safe, which allows staff to deposit cash into a secure box without access to the main safe.

As always, encourage your team to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour when dealing with customer payments.

Tip 5: Limit access to backrooms

Implement a clear policy regarding who can enter the shop’s backroom and under what circumstances. This helps ensure only trusted individuals with a legitimate need for access are granted permission. A security system or door with a locking mechanism can also help limit backroom access to authorized personnel only.

It is also important to conduct periodic audits to make sure only authorized personnel have access. Promptly revoke privileges for former employees or individuals whose access is no longer necessary. Maintaining a strict control system helps minimize the risk of internal threats and unauthorized entry.

Tip 6: Increase lighting (inside and out)

Bright lights make it difficult for burglars to hide. Increasing the lighting inside and outside of your jewellery store can deter potential smash-and-grabs from occurring.

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Install motion-activated lighting in front of your store, as well as in alleys or other areas with less visibility. Inside, make sure all areas are well-lit so that staff can easily spot any suspicious behaviour.

Tip 7: Develop an emergency plan

Despite taking all the necessary precautions, smash-and-grab robberies can still happen. It is important to have an emergency plan in place, so your staff knows how to respond in case of a robbery. Train your team to stay calm, follow procedures, and avoid confrontations with robbers. Have a plan to contact the police and provide them with information about the incident.

Be prepared

Smash-and-grab robberies can be devastating for jewellers, but by taking preventative measures, retailers can reduce the risk of a robbery and better protect their business.

For resources regarding safety and security when carrying or working with jewellery, visit For more information on reliable burglar alarm systems, subscribe to the Jewelers Mutual Clarity blog at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group is the only company specializing exclusively in jewellery insurance in Canada and the United States. It is licensed in Canada and all 50 states.

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