Attacks by South American theft gangs on traveling jewelry salespersons here in the United States continue to decline, thanks to increased efforts of the FBI and intensive lobbying by the industry’s security coalition, says a report by the Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA).
In the first four months of 1999, for example, there were 128 attacks on traveling salespersons. In the same period in 2000, there were 79. During the first four months of this year, there were 60. “While this is still far too much crime, it is less than half the losses of only two ago,” says John J. Kennedy, the president of JSA, which formed the industry security coalition of retailers, manufacturers and trade groups. ”The decline demonstrates the effectiveness of the FBI’s work [in combating the theft gangs].”
In the two years since JSA-led lobbying began, Congress has increased the budget of the FBI, told the FBI to go after jewelry theft gangs in the same way they treat the Mafia, and to significantly increase its opposition to them. As a result, says Kennedy this month, ”we have seen much greater enforcement, including task forces in Los Angles and elsewhere [in the United States], and many more investigations, arrests and prosecutions.”