Husband and wife Charles and Shirley Rhodes found themselves out of pocket after a slight-of-hand thief helped himself to a nine carat gold chain worth £650 earlier this week.
Lancashire Police confirmed it was looking into the raid and the owners of Thomas Yates jewellers on Market Place in Preston now want to help prevent other businesses from the “horrible feeling”.
“The response we’ve had since the theft from both police and the public has been amazing,” 49-year-old Shirley said. “We’ve contacted lots of other jewellers and pawnbrokers but we’ve had no luck finding the chain anywhere.
”That’s why we want to set up this kind of network, so when something like this happens we can alert other jewellers to watch out for the stolen items and keep an eye out for the culprit.”
Shirley wants other businesses to get in touch to set up a pub watch-style scheme and says the network would help deter potential thieves.
“It’s a horrible feeling and by helping each other out hopefully we can stop it happening to others,” Shirley said.
And Lancashire Police has backed the idea.
PCSO Stephen Connolly from Preston Police, said: “There’s a national scheme called ‘Safergems’ which is like this. It helps us to track down culprits and return goods to their rightful owners.
“It will also give business owners peace of mind and security.”