Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Jewel Thievery: Why Employee Accountability Is Crucial

Stolen jewelry piecesImagine this scenario: You are the owner of a jewelry store, and you've just walked in to find that items in your inventory worth several thousands of dollars have gone missing — but you have no way to figure out who stole the items.

Now imagine the steps you could have taken to secure your inventory. Jewelry store owners and managers need to ensure their items are locked away and tightly secured behind authorized access levels. Otherwise, crimes such as theft can happen.

An employee stole $56,000 worth of jewelry from RamZs Emporium and then pawned it for cash. It was that employee’s responsibility to place all incoming jewelry into inventory and organize it in the showcases, which gave her full access to the entire inventory. When the opportunity to steal jewelry presented itself, she took advantage of it.

Another employee at Kay Jewelers stole an $8,000 Neil Lane ring from the business and tried reselling it to another jeweler in the area. Fortunately an employee there recognized that it came from Kay Jewelers since it still had the tag. Had the employee at the other jeweler not noticed, the Kay employee would have gotten away with it.

At Zales Jewelry, an employee stole over $70,000 worth of jewelry and then sold the items to various pawn shops in the area. No one realized the items were missing until an internal audit was done months later.

These stories all illustrate crucial security lessons. It is vital to keep a verifiable record when it comes to securing expensive items. Enforcing authorization for the keys to the jewelry cabinets lessens the chance of internal theft as well as provides auditable records of the last person to access an item.