Bold Jewelry Heist in Manhattan’s Diamond District
Wall Street Journal (11/12/14) Shallwani, Pervaiz; Wilson, Colleen; Bashan, Yoni
Two men stole an unspecified amount of jewelry and other items from a jewelry store in Manhattan’s Diamond District on Tuesday in a rare armed robbery in the highly-secure block of stores and businesses that is at the heart of the U.S. diamond industry. The two men robbed the Watch Standard Inc. luxury store on West 47th Street by posing as delivery men. One of the robbers was buzzed into the store, which he robbed at gunpoint while the other man stood watch in the hallway outside. At least one of the store’s employees was injured during the robbery. The suspects were clearly captured by security cameras, but remain at large despite a massive police manhunt. Michael Grumet, the executive director of the 47th Street Business Improvement District, says he can only recall one other robbery occurring in the Diamond District during his eight-year tenure. He says most of the 4,100 companies that call the district home employ private armed security, and the district itself has a significant police presence.
Security is Questioned After New York Jewelry Store Robbery
Wall Street Journal (11/12/14) Bashan, Yoni; Shallwani, Pervaiz
Many stores and building managers in Manhattan’s Diamond District are reconsidering their security arrangements following a robbery on Tuesday at one of the area’s ostensibly well-protected jewelry stores. The Watch Standard store, the site of the robbery, is among the merchants in the area considering whether to increase security. Those plans could include upgrading security in the entire building. Meanwhile, the owner of another store located near the Watch Standard is considering screening customers before they enter. Similar stores in the area already use mantraps to prevent members of the public from entering secure areas. Screening buzzers, security cameras, and guards are also used by many of the businesses in the area. A security guard who works near the robbed jewelry store says he and other security personnel will probably be more attentive to potential trouble going forward. The guard, whose store is next to the Watch Standard, says he is prohibited from interfering in a robbery that occurs in another store, aside from calling police.
Study Finds Spike in Cost of Retail Crime in the U.S.
Security InfoWatch (11/07/14) Griffin, Joel
Retailers worldwide lost $128 billion last year due to shrink, which includes shoplifting, fraud by employees or suppliers, and administrative errors, according to the results of the Global Retail Theft Barometer that were released on Nov. 6. Of these losses, $42 billion were from the United States alone. The study did find that shrink declined slightly overall from 1.36 percent of retail sales in 2012 to 1.29 percent in 2013. Ernie Deyle, a retail loss prevention analyst who conducted the study, said that this is partly because retailers in some countries made greater loss-prevention investments. Although U.S. shrink declined from 1.5 percent of sales in 2012 to 1.48 percent in 2013, the cost of retail crime in the country as a percentage of revenue rose 27 percent last year to 1.74 percent. Deyle says retailers should change their attitudes toward loss prevention by employing analytics and technology, and “look at their loss prevention departments as a tactical performance improvement type of group.” Retailers reported that electronic article surveillance antennas, labels, and hard tags can effectively protect their most vulnerable products. More suppliers are also using source tagging radio frequency labels. Shoplifting and employee theft, however, remain issues that lack a definitive solution, Deyle noted.