The Jeweler's Security Alliance (JSA) has released a new report on crime in the industry for 2010. In the main, it is good news: the total number of crimes against the jewelry industry decreased 4.5 percent from 2009, and better yet, the dollar value of the losses fell 17.3 percent, from $97.7 million in 2009 to $80.8 million last year. The drop in losses, however, may reflect the continuing economic hard times, with store closings, lower inventories, and fewer salespersons on the road.
John J. Kennedy, president of the 20,000-member nonprofit trade association acknowledges the poor economy as a factor but also credits increased efforts by the FBI and local law enforcement agencies for the significant drop in losses, noting that there were 538 arrests in 2010 of criminals involved in jewelry industry crimes. "The cumulative effect of taking hundreds of jewelry criminals off the streets year after year has a strong impact on reducing crime," he states, as does "increased information sharing by jewelers and police regarding suspects, crimes, and scams." The report says that the total number of reported crimes in 2010 decreased from 1,557 to 1,487.
Among the highlights of the report are that off-premises attacks against traveling salespeople fell from 137 in 2009 to 113, which is the lowest number reported since the 1980s. Robberies, primarily of jewelry retailers, rose by 3.6 percent, but the amount in dollar losses for those stolen items fell by 15.5 percent. There were 377 grab-and-run incidents at jewelry retailers, up from 359 the previous year. The states with the most crimes reported were California with 214, Illinois with 144, Florida with 122, Texas with 119, and New York with 90.
The report will be available from the JSA Web site sometime next week.
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