Overall jewelry crime rose by 2.7% in 2002

Crimes against the jewelry industry during 2002 resulted in a loss of $126 million, a 2.7% increase over the previous year’s figure, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance reported in its annual survey on crime in the jewelry industry.

The study, 2002 Annual Crime Report and Directory of Products and Services, also shows that homicides in connection with jewelry crime increased from 13 in 2001 to 16 in 2002. However, the study notes that the total includes five family members who were slain in a single incident in December 2002 in Livonia, Mich.

The report shows an increase in on-premises crime, while incidents of off-premises crime fell significantly.

The drop in off-premises crime continues a trend that has been ongoing since off-premises crime reached its peak in 1999, says John Kennedy, JSA President. “Off-premises crime is down by about 50% from 1999.”

On-premises crime. According to the report, on-premises crime totaled $77.7 million, a 9.1% increase over the $71.2 million reported in 2001. The number of crime events also rose to 1,390, from 1,269 in 2001—a 9.5% increase.

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 (244 events in 2002 compared with 236 events in 2001), but the dollar value of those robberies rose by 22.5% to $35.9 million in 2002.

Dollar loss as a result of burglaries went up 44.4% in 2002 to $20.8 million and the number of incidents rose 10.2% to 290.

The dollar loss because of theft fell 23.6% in 2002 to $21 million.

Off-premises crime. The good news is that the dollar losses for off-premises crime fell 6% in 2002 to $48.3 million. The number of off-premises cases reported in 2002 was 240, down from 253 cases in 2001.

The dollar loss for theft in 2002 totaled $8.1 million, a 52% drop from the previous year’s figure, according to the report.

Ten off-premises burglaries were reported in 2002, a slight increase over the seven reported in 2001. However, the total dollar loss for those burglaries fell dramatically from $1.7 million in 2001 to $246,000 in 2002.

Robberies accounted for the only categorical increase in off-premises crime—from $32.9 million in 2001 to $40 million in 2002 (21.6%). And robberies have accounted for the majority of off-premises losses since 1997, the report states. In 2002 it accounted for 60% of losses, a slight drop from the 62% recorded in 2001.

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.