Beyond Burglary and Snatching: Jewelry Store Thefts You Should Watch Out For

Burglary and Snatching

Jewelry stores hold so many high-value and easily sellable (and often untraceable) goods, which is why they’re very tempting for thieves and burglars. The most common types of theft in jewelry stores are smash-and-grab, grab-and-go, distraction theft, and outright break-in burglary. Luckily, many jewelry store owners invest in high-security tools to deter criminals and protect their goods, such as through sensors, alarms, bulletproof glass, locking mechanisms, and cameras. For large jewelry stores you may need to add security guards bearing firearms like handguns and AK-47 rifles to the above tools to effectively protect your investment.

While these may help reduce the risk of theft and protect the store from the aforementioned types of theft, there are more discreet and less obvious ways criminals can take valuable goods (and information) from your jewelry store.

Sneak Theft

This happens when a crook is given access to many merchandises for them to “try” on and inspect. Sneak thieves would make excuses such as the jewelry not fitting well or doesn’t go with their style in an attempt to have the store employee take out more merchandise. When there is enough merchandise, the thief will pocket some items while the store employee is distracted. Most of the time, sneak theft is done alone but can be done with an accomplice to help distract store employees.

Prevention. Preventing sneak theft can be quite simple: only allow to show one item at a time. This may be hard to follow, especially if you’re dealing with a smooth-talker who makes you believe that you’re in a verge of a sale and persuades you to let them try out different items all out once. But you have to train your staff to be adamant about a single-showcase restriction.

Switch Theft

This is done by thieves who are excellent at sleight of hand. Simply put, this is when a criminal switches a genuine item with a fake one when trying it on. Most of the time, these criminals have already visited the shop or have seen the piece of jewelry they’re targeting to produce or find a fake copy that they’ll be using later on. It’s more likely that switch thieves work with an accomplice, with the first one doing the “window shopping and research” while the other one executes the switch while inspecting or trying on the particular item.

Prevention. The most obvious way to prevent this is by having your store employee always focus on the item at all times, but some thieves can pull off the switch so fast that it’s hard to know when the switch occurs. That said, the best way to prevent this is by examining the merchandise with magnifying tools before and after it’s shown to the customer — this won’t only help authenticate the piece but can help deter thieves.

Social Engineering

There are a lot of conmen out there, utilizing different schemes and tools to fool their way out of getting valuable items from your shop. One of the most common social engineering tactic is by impersonating someone (in person, through text, call, or email), either as your jewelry shop’s supplier or even the manager in order to trick staff into giving either information or the items outright, or trick your supplier in believing that they’re a representative who’s going to receive your shop’s order.

Prevention. Your staff should undergo extensive training on social engineering, and verification protocols have to be in place as an added level of security. The wholesale jewelers in Utah you’re getting your goods from should also be informed with regards to your security and verification protocols. Another way of protecting your shop from social engineering is to hire competent and sharp employees who can easily discern possible attempts of social engineering.


Some types of theft are indeed a lot harder to see than others, which is why physical security measures aren’t enough. So make sure that your staff are aware and trained with regards to these types of theft and how to handle them, and to have more/improved security protocols and features in place. You probably would also want to tell your trusted local wholesale jewelers in Utah about your improved security protocols, as well.

Ryker Holton
My name is Ryker Holton. The Professor and also a motivational teacher. I want to make the world a better place.

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