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U.S. Jewelry Industry Losses From Crime +17% in 2014

Mar 12, 2015 10:29 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Dollar losses from criminal activity aimed against the jewelry industry in 2014 jumped nearly 17 percent year on year to $77.8 million due to a surge in the number of smash-and-grab robberies committed, according to the Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA). However, the group's annual crime report noted that the number of crimes against the industry as a whole decreased from 1,414 in 2013 to 1,381 in 2014.

There was also a significant decline in lower-dollar-value grab-and-run burglaries, the JSA found. Still, the number of smash-and-grab robberies jumped 77.4 percent in 2014, and arrests by law enforcement soared 64.5 percent to 694 during the year.  The greater number of arrests was attributed to the intense work and cooperation by the FBI and local police in investigating major gangs that operate throughout the U.S., including continuing investigations of crimes committed in prior years.

The JSA found that the main crime scene for our industry in 2014 was  shopping malls, followed by standalone stores, strip centers, downtown shops and, finally, a variety of sites, including office buildings, hotels and other locations.
John Kennedy, the president of JSA, said, “Smash-and-grab robberies have been the No. 1 threat to the jewelry industry for the past 18 months, but the FBI and local law enforcement agencies are aggressively going after the criminal gangs that carry out these crimes and have already identified, indicted or arrested many suspects. These smash-and-grab robberies resulted in large losses of high-end watches and diamonds, which was a main driver of 2014’s statistics.”

Kennedy concluded, “Despite one-year dollar increases in crime losses, the long-term trend in jewelry crime is still firmly down. Dollar losses on an inflation adjusted basis have declined 42.9 percent since 2004. Jewelers are taking stronger security measures, much more crime information is being shared regarding suspects and methods and law enforcement is far more active and effective.”            

Tags: crime, Jeff Miller, jewelers security alliance, Jewelry, robbers, stores, thieves
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