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Jewelry Store Glass Protection Tips From the Pros

Written By: Brad CampbellFebruary 6, 2023

Jewelry store sales rely on displaying beautiful pieces of jewelry in glass display cases and in large glass storefront windows.

While this allows the aesthetics of jewelry to shine, it also makes the valuable merchandise a prime target for thieves.

Criminals especially love to target jewelry stores for burglary and smash-and-grab theft because they can fit thousands of dollars of merchandise into their pockets or into bags in a short amount of time and make a quick getaway.

This is why it’s so important to have the right level of jewelry store glass protection in place to stop would-be thieves dead in their tracks.

jewelry store glass protection

Why Jewelry Store Glass Protection Matters

According to the FBI, more than $100 million in jewelry is stolen each year across the US. 

These thefts (and the subsequent fencing of stolen jewelry) is disproportionately concentrated in certain major US cities, including Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, and New York City.

Jewelry thieves often operate in organized groups that target jewelry stores in multiple cities and states, often using “flash mob robbery,” or “flash rob,” techniques.

You may recall the viral trend that rose to popularity years ago known as “flash mobs,” in which large groups of sometimes dozens of people would get together in a public location and perform coordinated dances.

Well, flash robs take their name from this trend because in this form of retail theft large groups of criminals coordinate a mob-style robbery on a single retail store, often jewelry stores.

When a flash mob robbery targets a store, groups of many criminals, sometimes even up to 80, descend on the store with burglary tools like hammers and pry bars. 

They then quickly smash as many display cases and windows as possible, quickly grab whatever expensive merchandise they can get their hands on, and run off to different getaway vehicles parked outside.

Because of the number of individuals involved in this type of smash-and-grab theft, even if one or two of them get caught, many more get away with the stolen goods.

Not only does this type of mass jewelry theft result in the loss of irreplaceable merchandise, it also leaves an expensive wake of destruction behind it that costs thousands of dollars to clean up and repair.

jewelry theft

In addition to such brazen smash-and-grab theft, jewelry stores also need to worry about after-hours burglary and rioting and looting.

In the majority of jewelry store burglaries or looting incidents, the criminals gain access through an unprotected window or door. 

Typical annealed or tempered commercial glass is so easy to shatter that they simply have to smash a window to open a door from the inside or climb right through — this is why having the right jewelry store glass protection is so important.

What Can Jewelry Stores Do To Improve Glass Protection?

When you think of forced entry protection for glass doors and windows, the first solution that comes to mind might be to install window bars and grates.

While these can be effective at keeping criminals out, they present a number of problems for jewelry stores and other types of high-end retail stores. 

For starters, bars and grates significantly alter the outward appearance of your store, making it less enticing and appealing to shop at.

Not only do these unsightly bars and grates detract from the curb appeal of your business, they also significantly reduce visibility and interfere with window shopping.

Since jewelry stores rely on wowing their customers by prominently displaying pieces where they can be easily seen, bars and grates simply won’t work for most jewelers.

Lastly, bars and grates block out a significant amount of natural light, detracting from the customers’ experience when inside your store.

jewelry store security

Another natural response many business owners have to an increased threat of crime is to install more surveillance cameras, alarms, and access control systems.

But, although these are all important components of a comprehensive retail security system, they don’t do anything to physically prevent theft.

So, what can jewelers do to maintain the aesthetics and appeal of their business, yet physically prevent forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, and other types of theft?

The best jewelry store glass protection

For virtually unbreakable forced entry and smash-and-grab theft protection, we highly recommend using polycarbonate security glazing for your storefront windows and display cases.

In many cases, polycarbonate security glazing can be retrofitted right on top of your existing glass, protecting the glass behind without significantly altering the appearance or functionality of your windows or display cases. It can also be used to replace glass or build new display cases.

polycarbonate jewelry store glass protection

Although there are other types of security glazing products you can use to protect against jewelry theft, such as laminated security glass, polycarbonate is the most cost-effective and durable solution.

Polycarbonate looks and feels like your standard annealed or tempered storefront glass, yet it is incredibly impact resistant and does not crack or shatter due to high-force blows.

Quarter-inch containment-grade (non-ballistic) polycarbonate, such as ArmorPlast® AP25, will repel even the most prolonged, determined attacks using heavy hand tools, like bats, sledgehammers, and crowbars, without fail.

Even if riddled with bullets, containment-grade polycarbonate remains a barrier to forced entry, continuing to prevent an attacker from passing any part of their body through. 

And, if you want an even higher level of protection, ballistic-grade polycarbonate glazing shields are available with various ballistic resistance ratings, making them ideal for active threat mitigation.

Benefits of using polycarbonate for jewelry store glass protection:

  • Doesn’t reduce visibility or inhibit window shopping
  • Maintains curb appeal
  • Lets natural light in
  • Is virtually unbreakable
  • Can be retrofitted over existing glass surfaces
  • Protects against a full range of security threats:
    • Forced entry
    • Burglary
    • Smash-and-grab theft
    • Vandalism
    • Rioting and looting
    • Storm damage
    • Blast damage
    • Active threats

Final Words

With high profile jewelry store crime on the rise, there’s never been a better time to reevaluate your jewelry store’s glass protection.

Riot Glass, LLC manufactures, supplies, and installs the best in retail security glazing.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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