By Michelle Graff
New York—Professional burglars recently targeted jewelry stores in Virginia and Florida, prompting the Jewelers’ Security Alliance to release a list of burglary prevention tips ahead of the holiday weekend.

The first incident happened Nov. 9 in Stuart, Florida, a town on Florida’s Treasure Coast.

20191127 jewelry store rooftop burglaryAccording to JSA, the suspects cut two holes (pictured left) in the roof of the store but didn’t take any merchandise.

Surveillance video obtained by police showed a white vehicle driving around the area of the store throughout the afternoon and night of the attempted burglary, which took place on a Saturday, possibly acting as a lookout.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Detective Drew Patterson of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office at 772-220-7075.

The second incident happened Sunday at a store in Falls Church, Virginia.

Burglars broke into the store from an adjoining vacant bank. The suspects were able to enter one safe but not the other, which has a higher UL rating, JSA said.

JSA President John J. Kennedy said Wednesday that there is not enough evidence to tie the two cases together.

In issuing the alert, JSA provided a list of tips for burglary prevention for jewelers, which includes the following.

1. Make sure the store’s alarm company call list is up to date and includes enough responders that someone always can be reached, even during vacation periods, holidays and weekends.

2. Never enter the jewelry premises alone in response to an alarm signal; wait to be accompanied by police.

3. Do not put safes on an outside wall or a wall of a neighboring office or store. This gives burglars the opportunity to break through a wall and penetrate the safe without even entering the premises.

4. TL-15x6- and TL-30x6-rated safes are not adequate protection from today’s burglars who can cut into and penetrate them with tools purchased at a regular hardware store.

5. Both jewelers and police must respond to alarm signals promptly and examine not only the ground-floor doors and windows but also all other possible points of entry, including the roof and sidewalls.

6. Don’t leave merchandise, even inexpensive jewelry, out in the showcases at night. It encourages break-ins, and can add up to a significant loss if burglars take enough of it. If all the store’s merchandise won’t fit in the safe, then find somewhere to lock it away out of sight.

7. Don’t cover showcases with a cloth or other material. It is better for potential burglars to see empty showcases than covered ones.

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