By Brecken Branstrator
New York—There’s been a rash of incidents nationwide in which burglars cut jewelry stores’ power lines to disable their alarm systems before breaking in, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance said in a special alert issued Thursday.

In April, the JSA reported burglars had severed the power lines to Nuggets and Carats Jewelry Store in Laguna Niguel, California, then came in through the roof and cut into the safe to steal a large amount of merchandise.

Since then, JSA said it has received more than 30 reports of burglars severing jewelry store power lines to disable their alarm systems, hitting retailers in seven states: Florida, Colorado, California, Indiana, Idaho, Illinois and Utah, as well as in Canada.

The JSA said the burglars sever the power lines soon after the stores have closed for the night.

Then, they wait and watch.

After seeing the owner and/or police response—or lack thereof—they will break into the store if they feel like they can get away with it, often by cutting through the roof or sidewall.

In some cases, the burglars attempt to get into the safe, usually by cutting, but sometimes they torch it, JSA said, though it noted the burglars haven’t attempted this at all 30-plus stores.

The JSA made the following recommendations to the trade in its alert.

1. Jewelers must respond to all instances of power interruptions at their stores.

2. They also should ensure the alarm company’s call list includes the owner and enough employees so someone will be available to respond, including on weekend and holiday nights.

3. Jewelers shouldn’t respond to such instances alone; they need police to accompany them.

4. Police should be alerted that there might be burglars near the store watching, gauging their response to the situation.

5. Each store’s alarm protection should cover all possible means of entry, including the roof and sidewalls.

6. Stores must have line security to protect them if the alarm system is disabled.

7. The interior and exterior of the premises must be checked, including the roof and all possible means of entry.

8. Know that TL 15 and TL 30 U.L.-rated safes can easily be broken into using commonly available tools. Those rated TRTL 30x6 will offer better protection.

The JSA also asked jewelry stores that have had their power lines cut notify the alliance, as it is working with law enforcement regarding these burglaries.

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