By Michelle Graff
Miami—A man believed to have a history of distracting jewelry store employees so he can steal high-end merchandise hit again recently, this time in the Miami area just before the Super Bowl.

In an alert issued Thursday, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance said the suspect, a 62-year-old white male, pulled off the first sneak theft on Jan. 25 at a jewelry store in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which is about an hour north of Miami.

He stole a high-end gold watch from the store.

The second took place on Jan. 30, three days before the Super Bowl.

According to JSA, the suspect went into a jewelry store in downtown Miami at 3:45 p.m. He told staff he was in town for Super Bowl weekend and was getting married Sunday.

He distracted the owner and one employee by asking them to check prices, while asking another employee for a glass of water.

While all three were preoccupied, the suspect allegedly reached over a showcase and snatched two diamond bracelets that had been left on a stool.

JSA President John J. Kennedy told National Jeweler Friday it is believed this same suspect has pulled off jewelry store sneak and distraction thefts in the past.

He has been featured in JSA alerts at least three times since 2006 for alleged crimes in New York, Massachusetts and Beverly Hills, California, and served time in prison for theft in the past, Kennedy said.
20200210 Super Bowl sneak theft suspectSecurity camera footage from the stores in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida show the 62-year-old white male wanted in connection with two pre-Super Bowl sneak thefts. (Photos courtesy: JSA)

Kennedy reminds jewelers to return product to a showcase after presenting it, not leave it out on countertops, stools or chairs.

The JSA also advises all showcases be kept locked, except when taking out or returning merchandise.

Kennedy noted it’s not unusual for criminals to target stores in cities where big events are taking place, noting one large theft of a jewelry store on New York’s Fifth Avenue occurred when the U.N. General Assembly was taking place, always one of Manhattan’s most congested periods of the year.

Criminals are attracted by the prospect of streets and stores being busier, making it easier for them to blend in when it comes time to flee.

He said they’re also drawn to the idea they won’t stick out in any jewelry store in cities hosting large events; they’ll just be one of many never-before-seen faces.

TAGS:   Crime
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