Crime against the jewelry industry continues to generally trend downward

Crimes against the jewelry industry during 2003 resulted in a loss of $132.8 million, a 5.4% increase over the previous year’s figure, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance reported in its annual survey on crime in the jewelry industry. However, the dollar amount doesn’t tell the total picture of crime in 2003 because incidents were down 5.46%, from 1,631 in 1992 to 1,542 in 1993.

The study, 2003 Statistics on Crimes Against Jewelry Firms in the U.S., also shows that homicides in connection with jewelry crime dropped from 16 in 2002 to 11 in 2003. However, the study notes that the total in 2002 includes five family members who were slain in a single incident in December in Livonia, Mich.

John J. Kennedy, JSA president, says that the number of incidents has been gradually going down, in particular with off-premise crime due to stepped up efforts to involve the FBI and local law enforcement agencies, tougher court sentences, and greater awareness among people in the gems and jewelry industry.

“Dollar losses from off premise crime keeps going down,” Kennedy says. “I’m very optimistic about the trends in crime. Things are steady and down. Sometimes dollars are up, but like everything else it’s inflation. But overall, it’s trending lower.”

On-premises crime. According to the report, on-premises crime totaled $88.3 million, a 13.6% increase over the $77.7 million reported in 2002. The number of crime incidents totaled 1,347, a 3.1% decrease from the 1,390 incidents reported in 2002.

Jewelry crime is divided into three categories: Robbery (taking property by use of force or fear), burglary (entering a premises after closing with the intent to commit a crime), and theft (taking property without force or fear, such as check or credit card fraud).

The number of robberies rose slightly (255 events in 2003 compared with 244 events in 2002), and the dollar value of those robberies rose by 10.2% to $42.8 million in 2003.

Dollar losses as a result of burglaries went up 2.9% 2003 to $21.4 million and the number of incidents fell by 5.5% to 275.

The dollar loss because of theft rose to $24.1 million, compared with $21 million in 2003.

Off-premises crime. In terms of dollar loss and the number of incidents, off-premise crime was down for 2003.

In dollar terms, off-premise crime in 2003 fell by 7.9% to $44.5 million, when compared with 2002. The number of incidents in 2003 fell by 19% to 195, when compared with 2002.

The biggest drop in terms of dollars in this category was in robberies, where the total dollar value fell from $40 million in 2002 to $31.6 million in 2003. This drop in dollar value offset increases in dollar value in burglary and theft categories.

The dollar value loss for theft in 2003 totaled $9 million, compared with $8.1 million for the previous year.

Nine off-premises burglaries were reported in 2003, a slight drop over the 10 reported in 2002. However, the total dollar loss for those burglaries rose dramatically from $246,000 in 2002 to $3.8 million in 2003.

The receive the report, contact JSA at Jewelers’ Security Alliance, 6 East 45th St., New York, NY 10017; 212-687-0326 or 800-537-0067; fax: 212-808-9168; e-mail, jsa2@jewelerssecurity.org; or visit the JSA Web site at www.jewelersecurity.org.