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September 17, 2010

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Lax jewelers facing huge fines

CITY jewelry and gold stores face severe fines if found to have loopholes in their security precautions, police and the city's gold and jewelry association said yesterday.

The warning came after three suspects were detained in connection with a jewelry store raid in Minhang District a week ago.

Xu Wenjun, secretary general of the business association, said the city plans to draft a new regulation concerning jewelry operations and stores could be fined more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,484) if found to have ineffective security measures.

"It does not mean there will be no more thieves or robbers when all the security methods are done," Xu said. "But we should set barriers for those criminals who will never get what they want easily."

Xu said the new rule should be followed by all jewelry dealers no matter whether the stores were members of the association. The Jiujia Jewels store, which was robbed, was not the member of the association.

Xu said stores opened in large markets were more likely to be targeted compared to regular shops which had their own doors and other barriers.

In the markets, several counters containing jewelry would make up a "store."

Authorities found that the security equipment installed at the robbed store was fine but that security staff "did not do their job well."

The security staff based in the E-Mart supermarket had gone off duty hours before the market closed last Wednesday and before the robbery took place. Xu said the stolen goods, weighing about three kilograms, were worth about 1 million yuan. Police investigations are ongoing.

There are three to four similar jewelry stores and counters in the supermarket, sharing the same floor as the one that was robbed. The stores showcase some of their goods on the counter glass without any protection.

Local jewelry stores were urged to check their security systems and to be more careful by the city gold and jewelry association and the police following the robbery.


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