A total of 116 armed robberies for the first-half of 2005

Florida and Texas had the highest number of armed jewelry store robberies during the first half of 2005, according to statistics released by the Jewelers’ Security Alliance.

All totaled, there were 116 armed retail jewelry robberies for the first six months of the year committed in 31 states. The loss of those robberies amounted to $22.6 million.

In addition, JSA reported that three jewelers were killed in retail robberies for the period. There were also 12 robberies in which shots were fired, and 15 cases in which jewelers were pistol whipped or assaulted in the course of a robbery. While a gun was the usual weapon, robbers also used knives, hammers, and pepper spray during their crimes. Approximately 40% of the robberies were in mall stores and 60% in stand alone locations.

Florida had 17 armed robberies during that period followed by Texas with 16. Two other states experienced armed robbery numbers in the double digits for the period running from January till June were California (13) and New York (10).

Armed robbery totals in the remaining 27 states are as follows:

* Georgia, 5
* New Jersey, 5
* Connecticut, 4
* North Carolina, 4
* South Carolina, 4
* Arizona, 3
* Delaware, 3
* Missouri, 3
* Oklahoma, 3
* Pennsylvania, 3
* Alabama, 2
* Hawaii, 2
* Indiana, 2
* Louisiana, 2
* Nevada, 2
* Ohio, 2
* Colorado, 1
* Illinois, 1
* Maryland, 1
* Massachusetts, 1
* Michigan, 1
* Mississippi, 1
* Oregon, 1
* Tennessee, 1
*Virginia, 1
* Washington, 1
* Wisconsin, 1

John Kennedy, President of JSA, said that armed robbery activity in June was unusually high.

“While crime regularly rises and falls throughout the year, and goes through cycles, I am disturbed by the results for June, 2005,” Kennedy said. “While the industry averaged 17 robberies per month for the first five months of this year, in June there was a very unusually high total of 34 robberies. I hope we are not seeing the first signs of a dangerous new trend.”

He continued, “The frequency and severity of armed robberies should encourage every jeweler to follow the security guidelines in JSA’s Manual of Jewelry Security on such procedures as opening and closing safely and how to act during a robbery. Following proper security procedures has proven to have a tremendous effect on reducing the likelihood and severity of armed robberies. It is also a must for every retail jeweler to stay informed about suspects and crime patterns through JSA’s frequent E-mail Crime Alerts and other member Bulletins.”