A Gem of a Theft: Fighting Jewelry Store Robberies

From distraction thefts to recent “gate-cutting” incidents, a look at the newest tactics to stand guard against


The “Gate Cutters Jewelry Crew” is believe to have taken over $5.1 million in jewelry from more than 50 jewelry stores in 10 to 12 East Coast states. They primarily target national, mall-based stores and have victimized 16 companies.

In a rare show of interest in retail crime, the FBI is participating in the Gate Cutters Jewelry Task Force, which is comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement in partnership with the jewelry and gem industry.

FBI Criminal Investigative Division Assistant Director Chris Swecker says the danger from these acts isn’t solely loss of property.

“The potential danger to the public is clear,” said Swecker. “While we are concerned about the impact the dollar loss has on the American consumer, we’re even more concerned about the potential for violence. We’re determined to do everything possible to prevent a shopper, security guard, police officer or other innocent passerby from getting hurt.”

Tips regarding jewelry store burglaries that could be the work of the Gate Cutters Crew should be passed on to local law enforcement, the nearest FBI field office, or via the tip line at (800) CALL-FBI (800/225-5324).

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