Posted: 09/07/2011 01:00:00 AM PDT
With the rise in robberies and muggings by criminals seeking to cash in on high gold prices, local authorities are urging caution for people who sell or wear gold jewelry.
Tone down those flashy displays to avoid having heirlooms and baubles snatched off fingers, necks and wrists.
"If you're going to be wearing gold jewelry, either don't wear it or be extremely discreet with it," said Cmdr. Jim Cansler of Los Angeles Police Department's Valley Division.
Merchants, too, should be on high alert.
"Be very aware and cognizant of who's coming in your store. Take that extra look and make sure the surroundings are safe," Cansler said.
Despite the prevalence of "cash for gold" businesses in the San Fernando Valley, the region has remained relatively unscathed by the rash of gold thefts in downtown's jewelry district.
So far, Valley authorities have noted only a few isolated incidents, including one in August when a jeweler was robbed by a masked gunman during a staged traffic accident in North Hollywood.
His uninsured $2 million stash, however, was composed of diamonds and not gold.