As the sun sets earlier while winter approaches and stores remain open later during the holiday season, some Westport jewelers are on high alert following
“My general reaction is shock. It means we are all vulnerable,” said owner Lida Ghiozi.
Silver Ribbon Jewelers, which is located on Post Road East less than a half mile west of YZ Jewelers, will have a police officer on duty when they remain open until 8 p.m. starting Dec. 20.
“We take all kinds of precautions, but we always have an officer when we are open after 6 p.m.,” Ghiozi said.
What scared Ghiozi most was the fact that the homicide was what she called a “senseless killing.”
“Would you give your life for merchandise that was probably insured anyway? You’d just give it up,” Ghiozi said. “I guess he didn’t want to leave any witnesses.”
Ghiozi said she is more vigilant, and watches her customers more closely, looking for odd behavior inconsistent with a shopper in a jewelry store. The recent homicide has heightened awareness at Silver Ribbon Jewelers, which has been in business for 36 years, and many other jewelry stores in town. Ghiozi said she has spoken with neighboring businesses and they feel the same way.
Other Westport jewelers said they keep a close eye out of for late shoppers, particularly people that enter the store just before closing time. They look to see if the potential customer is actually looking for something or if they are wandering around. Store managers have advised their clerks to take precautions and be wary of nervous customers. If someone is asking odd questions, perhaps inquiring about the amount of security on duty, employees are instructed to bring it to a manager's attention. One jewelery store clerk stressed the importance of knowing who is in the store at all times.
Although employees and business owners closer to the scene of the crime were shocked by the homicide, business has been normal at Compo Shopping Plaza.
“People are walking around and shopping like usual,” said Michael Chao, the owner of , a restaurant located a few doors down from YZ Jewelers.
Chao said the victim of the homicide, 65-year-old Yukutiel Zeevi, would frequently eat at his restaurant for lunch.
“He was a friendly guy; always smiling,” Chao said of the
Chao explained Westport truly is a safe town and that he does not feel scared or worried at all.
“I think the police will catch this guy,” he said.
Fairfield resident Dan Sullivan, a clerk at , which is located two doors down from YZ Jewelers, called the whole incident “unnerving.”
“That doesn’t happen often in Westport,” Sullivan said. “It is shocking; what else can you say?”