New York--A group of suspects performing distraction thefts at jewelry stores around the country has hit again.

On the evening of March 20, six individuals entered a Paso Robles, California jewelry store shortly before closing, according to the Jewelers Security Alliance. Some of the individuals distracted the sales staff while the others stole jewelry from the back of the store.

The group has been included in JSA crime alert emails and also reported in National Jeweler.

They are believed to have already committed at least 10 jewelry store thefts since June 2017.

They have done so in the following cities:

--Glendale, California on June 14, 2017;
--Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Oct. 14, 2017;
--Alexandria, Virginia on Oct. 20, 2017;
--Falls Church, Virginia on Nov. 3, 2017;
--Norman, Oklahoma on Nov. 24, 2017;
--El Cajon, Calif. on Feb. 28;
--Santa Barbara, Calif. on March 9; and
--Two thefts in Escondido, Calif. on March 19.

In all of the thefts listed above, a subject crawled on the floor to the back of the store and stole merchandise from the safe.

20180326 Distraction thievesA few of the suspects as seen from footage of the Paso Robles (left) and Escondido, California (right) robberies
The JSA said the suspects are possibly driving a white 2004 Toyota Sienna, with California license plate No. 7DLJ311.

The association also has posted videos, both of the Falls Church theft and the El Cajon theft, on its website.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the JSA at 212-687-0328.

JSA also offered the following recommendation to jewelers in a news alert this week.

1. Beware of groups of three or more people entering the store or people in the store who may appear to be working together to distract employees, even if they didn’t enter together. If such a group shows up, use a code word to have all employees focused on them.

2. Keep showcases and safes locked during the day, except when merchandise is removed or returned.

3. Be especially careful when multiple suspects try to confuse staff by asking to be shown a number of items at once. Don’t leave multiple items on the showcase.

4. Keep any gates or doors closed and locked to prevent anyone from crawling to the safe.

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