It takes cooperation, organization and patience on all levels of law enforcement to battle organized retail crime syndicates, especially on a national stage. Last week, hours of dedicated research and surveillance by local and government agencies culminated in making a handful of jewelry retailers and neighborhood communities a little safer.

On March 21, teamwork and collaboration paid off with the arrest of seven alleged members of a jewelry theft ring. Investigators from the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Washington Field Division and more than 15 law enforcement agencies at the federal and local level demonstrated how determination and communication can defeat even the most organized and violent criminals. The jewelry industry’s traveling sales teams have long been the target of these hardened criminals who attack the salespeople when they travel in and out of specialty jewelry and departments stores. These thieves are notorious for being violent yet sophisticated in their robberies and this gang is accused of stealing more than $4.6 million in jewelry in no less than six states.

In conversation with John Kennedy, President of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, he stated that this was a hugely successful strike against these organized criminals and law enforcement working with the jewelry industry are to be commended for this outstanding case.

Like so many other cases brought to conclusion in retail, the success always comes from good communication and collaboration with our law enforcement partners – and NRF works hard to recognize these outstanding professionals with the Law Enforcement Partnership Awards (LERPA) program awarded each year at our annual Loss Prevention Conference held this June in New Orleans.

We owe quite a bit of gratitude to the law enforcement partners that work hard to put a stop to organized retail crime rings and keep retail staff and customers safe.