By Michelle Graff
New York—In the past two weeks, two jewelry stores have fallen victim to power-cut burglaries and suffered “significant” losses, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance reported Thursday.

JSA said a jewelry store in New Albany, Indiana, a small city located across the river from Louisville, Kentucky, had its power cut and its safe compromised on Oct. 2.

Local NBC affiliate Wave 3 News reported that the break-in happened in the middle of the night.

The second power-cut burglary took place at a Los Angeles-area jewelry store on Monday. The perpetrators in that case also broke into the safe after cutting power to the store.

Once a type of crime so rare JSA didn’t even single it out in its annual report, power-cut burglaries, or attempted power-cut burglaries, have been widespread this year, prompting JSA to issue a special alert in May that included a list of eight recommendations for retailers.

On Thursday, JSA reiterated those tips and provided a special list of suggestions for jewelers in California affected by the recent wave of intentional power outages.

Hundreds of thousands of residents in central and southern California have been without power this week when two of the state’s utility companies, PG&E and Edison, enacted planned power cuts intended to prevent wildfires due to high winds.

The JSA said California jewelers should:

  1. Request local police give extra attention to and make extra runs by their stores when they’re closed;
  2. Put all merchandise in the safe;
  3. If the insurance policy permits, consider placing high-value items in a bank safe deposit box during the planned power outages;
  4. Hire an armed guard for when the stores are closed; and
  5. Without endangering personal safety, go by their jewelry stores at varying times when they’re closed.

Editor’s note: This story was corrected post-publication to correct an erroneous statement about New Albany, Indiana. It is located across from the river from Louisville, Kentucky, not Lexington as previously reported.

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