'Jewelry stores stingy on security'

The Sundaily |

PETALING JAYA: A security firm has hit out at goldsmith and jewellery stores for not wanting to spend more on security, saying it only increases the risk of their shops being robbed.

Securiteam Protection Services Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Basant Singh said almost all of those stores employed only one security guard during operating hours, which could go beyond 12 hours per day.

He said additional manpower was needed to minimise the security guard's working hours, adding that most shops only employed guards due to requirements by their insurance companies.

Basant said some jewellers and goldsmiths are also not investing more and taking better security measures knowing that they could claim insurance in the event of a robbery.

He was asked to comment on recent cases of robberies at jewellery stores, with the more prominent one involving eight robbers who escaped with RM1.5 million worth of jewellery in a New Year's Eve heist that lasted only three minutes.

On claims that security guards often do not act against robbers, Basant said the priority was always to ensure their own safety as well as that of the shop operators.

"They have been trained not to act in a manner that may cost their lives and those around them in the stores.

"Also, they can't simply fire off in a high density shopping mall, for example. And if four assailants armed with guns come to rob, what do you expect the guard to do?"

An official of another security firm, who requested anonymity, said the job of a security guard is to act as a deterrent, to prevent a crime from happening more than to react to it.

Meanwhile, police remain tight-lipped on investigations into the three recent jewellery heists in Cheras, Bangi and Seremban.

"We will hold a press conference on these shootings and goldsmith heists once we have tied up all loose ends," said deputy KL police chief DCP Datuk Zainuddin Yaacob.

The three cases had the same modus operandi – swift jobs that were over within minutes and the robbers had their accomplices waiting outside of the premises.

In the latest incident in Seremban on Thursday night, eight gunmen stormed into a goldsmith shop at Palm Mall shopping mall in Kemayan Square and carted away six trays of jewellery, all within three minutes.

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