Crime in the jewelry industry has been kept under control because of the industry’s “unprecedented” cooperation with law enforcement, speakers noted at the Jewelers Security Alliance’s annual luncheon, held Saturday at the Rainbow Room in New York.
“We would think that, with all that’s going on in the world, crime in the jewelry industry would have risen,” said JSA chairman David Cornstein. “But it has held steady, and in some cases, it has declined.”
Cornstein said this is due to the JSA’s local crime network program, and the industry’s cooperation with local and federal authorities.
JSA president John J. Kennedy noted that in 2008, only two jewelry industry members were killed during industry-related crimes. In 1995, there were 16.
The luncheon’s keynote speaker, Joseph M. Demarest Jr., assistant director in charge of the New York division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, agreed that working together was key to solving crime.
“New York City is a safer place thanks to the cooperation with local, federal, and state authorities as well as the continued partnership with private groups like the JSA,” he said. “The FBI enjoys a special relationship with the JSA. We’re convinced that partnerships like this have a definitive and positive impact in reducing and solving crime.”
Demarest noted that jewel thieves “will stop at nothing”—citing recent cases where jewel thieves had their fingerprints and facial features surgically altered.
The organization also gave its annual James B. White Law Enforcement Award to Ryan T. Toole, supervisory special agent for the FBI, who specializes in jewelry related crime.
Dave Bonaparte, group vice president, JCK Events, and Mark Smelzer, publisher, JCK Publishing Group, received the third annual “Industry Service Award.” Kennedy hailed the JCK Industry Fund’s contributions to the JSA.