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This information is supplied as a courtesy service. They did NOT involve any of our clients but we want to share it with the community so that you can be more aware and hopefully stay safe: 

10/09/2006 : http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=local&id=4644414&ft=exLg

September 2010 - story about how dangerous is can be for outside salesmen  and a video of a salesman being robbed (personal safety is of utmost importance and his actions are not recommended)

Salesmen say jewelry thieves make business dangerous

by Jeff McShan / 11 News khou.com

Posted on September 8, 2010 at 12:09 AM updated today at 9:36 AM

HOUSTON -- Bold gangs of jewelry thieves flock to Houston and other cities across the United States to do business, and when you couple that with home-grown copycats, suddenly being a jewelry salesman becomes one of the most dangerous jobs in America.

Detective Jeff Brieden, with HPD’s Robbery Division, said the latest case in the Houston area involves a salesman we'll call Greg, because he was too afraid to reveal his identity.

“I opened my door and they pulled up behind me real fast and jumped out. One guy had a gun,” Greg said.

What happened to Greg in July, outside a Cash America store on Telephone Road, was all caught by surveillance cameras.

“I had the keys in my hand and they knocked me down and they grabbed the keys,” said Greg.

But when they grabbed his keys, the key chain broke and the remote to Greg's car stayed in his hand.

“Unbelievable, my other keys were all over the parking lot,” Greg said.

So then, as the suspects were about to drive away, Greg did the unthinkable and got his jewelry, worth tens of thousands of dollars, back.

“I hit the button and I reached in and grabbed my bag and they hit me with the car backing out and then they took off,” Greg said.

He could have been killed.

“I figured they would see me and turn around and come back so I ran back into the pawn shop with my bag,” Greg said.

But they didn't notice.

“Very fortunate to be here,” Greg said.

The Jewelers' Security Alliance said that crimes against U.S. jewelers in 2009 cost them nearly $100 million. And most robberies of jewelry salespeople take place in broad daylight, putting innocent bystanders at risk.

Here in Houston, one salesman was attacked and robbed while he was eating lunch at a Waffle House. Another victim was attacked while getting gas at Kirby and Bissonnet.

And then there was the scary incident outside a Galleria hotel two years ago. Shots were fired during that robbery.

Greg said he's been robbed twice.

“If anybody recognizes them there is money in Crime Stoppers. They can call,” Brieden said.

Brieden said he believes the men were following Greg, or they were tipped off to his whereabouts.

“You constantly watch to see if you’re followed because they follow you forever,” said Greg.

And without the public’s help, police said they're hard to catch.

The gangs often use phony identities, rental cars and sophisticated surveillance techniques.

In an incident in Rice Village, the suspects even slashed the salesman's tires so he couldn't follow them.

In Greg's case, he didn't have to follow. He risked his life to make sure the suspects left without his precious jewels.

“I mean without it my life would be kind of a sad rat,” Greg said.

Perhaps, but police say he's lucky to be alive.

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False Claim

Making a false police report is a crime - making a false insurance claim is fraud.

L.A. jewelry store owner convicted of fraud - from National Jeweler

February 15, 2011
Santa Ana, Calif.—A 37-year-old Los Angeles jeweler pleaded guilty earlier this month to one felony count of insurance fraud for falsely claiming one of his employees was robbed of a 4.21-carat diamond and then collecting more than $99,000 in insurance money.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Lior Bitton, owner of Pacific Diamonds and Gems, entered his guilty plea on Feb. 4 and was sentenced to three years of formal probation, five days in jail and 90 days home confinement. He also has to pay $99,000 in restitution, and the court also ordered that diamond must be returned to the insurance company.

The story behind the fraudulent claim started on Jan. 7, 2010, when one of Bitton’s employees was robbed of 20 diamonds in Westminster, Calif. According to the district attorney’s office, Bitton then filed a claim with his insurance company for the stolen stones, tacking on to the claim a 4.21-carat diamond that had been graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in September 2009.

Bitton accepted $99,000 from his insurance company for the allegedly missing 4-carat diamond.

In March, the jeweler traveled to Israel, met with a diamond wholesaler and provided the wholesaler with the 4.21-carat diamond he had reported stolen in January. The wholesaler submitted the diamond to GIA for grading. Using the stone’s distinct properties, the lab was able to determine that it was the same stone graded in March 2009.

The Westminster Police Department investigated the case while Deputy District Attorney Matt Lockhart prosecuted it.

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