Crime Against U.S. Jewelers Rises to $103.5 million
Crime against the jewelry industry in the U.S. rose 16.6 percent to 1,505 incidents in 2008. The effects of these occurrences cost $103.5 million, a 6.6 percent increase according to the Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA).


The rise in the value of losses reversed a 10 year trend. Losses had fallen 39 percent from $173.30 million in 1999.


There were 425 arrests of criminals involved in the 1505 crimes, down slightly from 446 arrests in 2007.


California had the most reported crimes, with 259 incidents, followed by Florida, Texas and New York.


Thursdays were the most crime-prone days, with 20 percent of the total events taking place on that day. Sunday, when many businesses are not open, was the least likely day for a robbery to occur.


Some of the incidents were violent ones that ended in deaths. On July 2, a retail jeweler in Grand Haven, Michigan and his customer were murdered during a robbery by two brothers who sold jewelry to the retailer. In another incident, a traveling jewelry salesperson who, according to police reports was associated with an organized crime family, was shot to death in Staten Island, New York on April 29.


Police officers shot and killed three robbers while jewelers shot and killed five robbers, JSA reported.


Ten years ago, an average of ten to 15 jewelers were killed each year during robberies.


Burglary losses in 2008 totaled $19.9 million. The largest loss, $1.5 million, took place in Attleboro, Massachusetts when a 700 pound safe containing jewelry and valuable NY Giant Super Bowl rings was stolen.


“The popular wisdom is that crime will rise when economic times are tough, however, history has shown that the incidence of crime against the jewelry industry is more complicated than that,” said John Kennedy, president of the JSA. “It is extraordinarily rare, for example, for someone who has lost their job or had their house foreclosed to commit an armed robbery of a jewelry store.”

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