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Gang Burglaries Drive Rise in Crime Losses

Dec 9, 2020 9:31 AM   By Rapaport News
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Losses from crime against the US jewelry industry soared 89% to $101 million in 2019, reflecting a splattering of high-value burglaries perpetrated by gangs.

Burglary losses more than tripled to $40.5 million, from $11.6 million in 2018, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) said Tuesday in its annual crime report. The total number of criminal events declined 0.2% to 1,438.

“After many years of significant declines in dollar losses from crime, the industry got a jolt in 2019 due to large dollar crime losses caused by very active professional gangs, particularly sophisticated burglary gangs,” explained JSA president John Kennedy. “While losses have moderated in 2020 due to Covid-19 closures and disruptions, the disturbing statistics of 2019 should be a wake-up call for the industry that the bad old days of escalating crime losses can quickly return.”

On the plus side, the JSA didn’t record any homicides of jewelers in 2019 — the first time that had happened in decades. Crimes against the industry have killed 124 jewelers over the past 24 years, the JSA pointed out.

The number of on-premises burglaries jumped 53% to 327, while rooftop-entry burglaries leaped to 34, from 9 in 2018. Burglary attacks on safes rose to 44 from 13 in 2018, with the average loss from this type of incident more than doubling to $491,000, from $221,000 a year earlier. “Highly mobile” professional burglary crews contributed to the rise in sophisticated break-ins, the JSA added.

Image: A destroyed window after an attack at a jewelry store. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Burglaries, crime, Jewelers’ Security Alliance, Jewelry, John Kennedy, JSA, Rapaport News, thefts
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