What does the Brent Cross Raid tells us?

On Wednesday night 4th of May, Security at Brent Cross Shopping was breached and two jewellery stores were robbed.  Smash-and-grab is becoming a common occurrence and many will simply click to the next story with a shrug, but this raid has important lessons - so what can we learn?

Firstly, although the thieves were caught later, the raids were successful. According to reports, security of both Brent Cross and at least on of the two stores were breached with little more than sledgehammers and pick axes and stock was stolen, so any security measurements are clearly not providing a deterrent.
Secondly, the raid occurred at 2:30 in the morning. This shows the thieves are part of organised crime gangsthat are adapting their M.O. Recentreports of members of the public intervening and recording the raids on mobile phones are forcing the thievestoavoid busy times and work under cover of darkness. It also gives them more time to overcome strengthened doors and glass.

What is the result? The stores will be activating their Insurance to cover loss of stock, damage to fittings and business interruption - raising premiums for themselves and the industry in general.

Why the industry as well? because the thieves are adapting their M.O., the Insurers are obliged to keep premiums high to mitigate risk until an effective deterrent brings the number of raids down.

What can we learn? Thieves always check the premises before the raid - its called ‘hostile reconnaissance’ looking for security measures or lack of them. If they see the Medusa logo on the showcase they know that any attempt to smash open the showcase will result in a fast acting foam filling the showcase to cover the stock and hardening immediately so removal of individual items will be impossible. As a result, the thieves will pick a softer target and your store will remain a safe and enjoyable environmentfor staff and customers.

Insurers will benefit from reduced number raids on Medusa protected showcases and a 90% reduction in payouts because the stock never leaves the premises no loss is recorded. The only payout is for for cleaning of the stock. The Brent Cross raid shows thieves still see the jewellery store as a prime target - only Medusa can change their minds.

Display theft in Surrey – what can we learn?


An audacious thief visited a jewelers shop in Guildford, Surrey, recently, and in only 6 minutes helped himself to 16 gold and platinum rings – without detection. How? By making the most of current showcase designs that place aesthetics over reliable security.

Featured in a June SaferGems Alert, the incident was not unusual. The thief was merely exploiting common display case design flaws. 

 Showcase lock

Showcase lock

 Wall cabinet lock

Wall cabinet lock

As you can see from the author’s pictures (showing stand-alone and wall cabinet locks), large gaps between glass and frame allow for implements to be inserted – which is exactly what the Surrey thief exploited. The gap also means the bolt may not enter the keep deeply enough. 

Professional criminals are recognising these design weaknesses and capitalising on them. Doors can be levered open, without risk of breaking the glass. And if executed as part of a distraction theft, the crime may not be recognised for many minutes, enabling the thieves to escape.

Medusa High Security Showcases are built differently. We set the glass door into a rebated metal frame, so there are no gaps for implements. And we rebate the bolts fully into keeps that we mould specially into the frame.

Professional criminals will soon recognise the Medusa logo, and realise our showcases cannot be manipulated or compromised using hand-tools, however quick, skillful or forceful they are.

Top insurers recognise Medusa system

Medusa has just passed a crucial benchmark – the assurance of guaranteed full insurability – with top industry insurer TH March & Co Ltd recognising us, in the following statement released by them (and shown verbatim):

“Founded over 125 years ago, TH March & Co Ltd have a wealth of experience providing advice and intelligence to retail premises, and also launch initiatives to combat crime. 

“T.H. March & Co. Ltd have referred to the underwriters used by them, and have confirmed that they are happy for the Medusa cabinets to be used, and that the cleaning or restoration costs will be covered as part of a valid claim.”

This endorsement is a major development for our company’s offer to customers, meaning you can add Medusa to your security range, and rest assured that our unique goods and services are completely coverable. 

What the Altrincham robbery tells us

As usual, they had it all planned out. Four men, black-clad, very aggressive, organised and well equipped, recently stole £186,000 worth of Rolex watches and gems in a violent smash and grab raid on a jewelers in Altricham, Greater Manchester.

Left traumatised – and bereft of valuable stock – the shop-owner and staff could be forgiven for wondering what had gone wrong. After all, they had planned ahead too – the shop’s security measures had all been in place.

They had a door guard, a fogging system, and – in all likelihood – laminated glass cabinets, too.

Yet all failed, in that the thieves achieved their mission, despite the security, and got away with the goods.

So what did go wrong?

  • The presence of a guard did not deter the thieves. He was overpowered and the money paid to the security company wasted.
  • Deploying eventually, the fogging unit did not prevent the theft. Again, money was wasted.
  • The presence of laminated glass was no barrier or deterrent either – staff were kept at bay long enough for cases to be breached.

Unlike the Medusa foam system, traditional security is failing to either deter thieves, or stop them getting what they want – criminals simply find a way around old measures.

Medusa’s specification is different. The Gorgon’s head logo alone tells criminals they will ultimately be deprived of the valuables, thereby deterring attack.

And should they ignore it, they will discover why insurers and retailers alike increasingly recognise Medusa as the final answer to smash and grab – because an instant and automatic sequence of events (that does not put staff in harms way) militates for one purpose. And that’s to deprive them of their prize.