Group working to stop further jewelry store heists in St. Louis - KMOV.com

Group working to stop further jewelry store heists in St. Louis area

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Fairview Heights Police said three people first broke into St. Clair Square Mall early Friday morning and then into Prime Jewelers. Credit: Fairview Heights PD Fairview Heights Police said three people first broke into St. Clair Square Mall early Friday morning and then into Prime Jewelers. Credit: Fairview Heights PD

(KMOV.com) - A group working to protect jewelers is now involved in trying to prevent more stores from being targeted.

Jewelers, especially the ones who work at the Diamond Shop in Clayton, are on high alert. A long-time industry expert told News 4 a grab and run is common. But, what jewelers in our area have experienced in two months is different and very dangerous.

Aggressive jewelry thieves often hide their faces from jewelers. This time, a fearful jeweler wants to hide his from the bad guys.

"Anytime a weapon is brandished, or discharged in a store, even if it is just being pointed at someone, accidents do happen and people can get hurt," said the jewelry expert who did not want to be named.

The expert has worked in the jewelry industry more than three decades.

He says the boldness of thieves, shown in recent St. Louis-area jewelry store burglaries and robberies since February, is odd.

"It is a myth. It is movies. I am not going to tell you there are no armed robberies. but there are not armed robberies on a regular basis with people coming in with AK-47s," said the expert.

The jeweler thinks all businesses and customers should open their eyes. In simple terms, if you see something, say something.

"As citizens, we have to become vigilant, not just for the jewelry industry, but all businesses and individuals," added the expert.

The crimes stretching from heavily-populated cities to densely-populated counties are getting the attention of jewelry experts nationwide.

"This is definitely out of place for St. Louis, even for the jewelry industry as a whole, because we don't have these violent crimes," added the expert.

St. Louis, like other cities, has a jewelry crime alert network to keep up. 

"Jewelers can instantly send images, warnings, or alerts to each other. So, the industry does share important information very rapidly," added the expert.

The St. Louis Jewelry Crime Alert network did that Thursday. The network activated within 15 minutes of the robbery at the Diamond Shop. In 2017, the network helped law enforcement in the St. Louis area capture seven suspects.

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