By Michelle Graff
New York—The Jewelers’ Security Alliance said there has been a recent surge in grab-and-run thefts by masked suspects.

The incidents, profiled in JSA’s newsletter on Thursday, happened between Aug. 22 and Sept. 7 across four states: California, New Jersey, Ohio and Oklahoma.

Three of the incidents were diamond grab-and-runs, including two that involved the suspects running with more than one stone.

On Aug. 31, JSA said a suspect—described as a somewhat short and stocky white male in his late 30s with blue eyes and brown hair—went into a jewelry store in Tulsa, Oklahoma and asked about white sapphires, then left the store.

He came back about two hours later and asked about white sapphires again before the conversation turned to diamonds.

As the sales associate showed him two diamonds, he grabbed them and ran out, dropping a shopping bag full of old clothes on his way, JSA said.

On Sept. 7, a man who said he had $22,000 to spend on an engagement ring allegedly grabbed and ran with two diamond rings from a jewelry store in Holmdel, New Jersey. He is described a 5-foot-11-inch white male with blue eyes in his mid-30s.

The other diamond jewelry grab-and-run happened Aug. 26 at a department store in the Los Angeles area.

20200911 LA suspect
JSA said the suspect, pictured at left, asked to hold a 10-carat total weight diamond tennis bracelet and ran out of the store with it in broad daylight, fleeing in a red vehicle.

The fourth incident involved gold jewelry.

According to JSA, three young men entered a jewelry store in Jeffersonville, Ohio together on Aug. 22 and said they were just looking.

They gravitated to the showcase containing gold chains, JSA said, and asked to see multiple pieces but were told by the sales associate she could only show one a time.

Two of the suspects then drifted over to a case containing gold men’s rings, while the suspect who remained at the other case asked to see the same bracelet for a third time.

JSA said he then ran from the store with the bracelet while, at the same time, one of the other suspects snatched a gold ring from a different sales associate and ran with it.

The suspect who allegedly ran with the gold ring is described as a Hispanic male in his mid-20s, 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing approximately 165 pounds, while the man who allegedly snatched the bracelet is described as a black male in his mid-20s, 5 feet, 10 inches tall and approximately 150 pounds with tattoos on his arms.

The third suspect is described as a white male in his mid-20s, 5 feet, 10 inches tall and 160 pounds, with tattoos on his arms and legs.

These four recent incidents follow a trail of sneak thefts committed by a single individual in seven states.

That suspect, described as a white man in his early 30s or 40s with a distinct speech pattern, last struck on Aug. 22 in Lafayette, Louisiana, JSA said in its Sept. 1 alert.

JSA’s recommendations for avoiding grab-and-run thefts include showing only one item at a time and being on high alert when three or more individuals enter the store together.

Anyone with information about any of these incidents is asked to contact the Jewelers’ Security Alliance at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

TAGS:   Crime
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