JSA: Record Number of Jewelry Crime Arrests in 2011

The number of arrests in jewelry store related crimes jumped more than 35 percent to 651 last year, according to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance’s preliminary crime report for 2011.

According to the report, six jewelers were killed in 2011, up from four in 2010. The total number of jewelry crime related cases jumped to 1,459 from 1,352 the previous year, while the dollar amount of losses totaled $81.9 million, an increase of $7.5 million from 2010.

However, the number of off-premises losses continued to decline dramatically, in large measure because there are fewer salespersons on the road.

“I am encouraged when there is a decline in a crime category, but I hesitate to give it long term significance,” says John Kennedy, president of JSA. “When there is a spike upward in a crime category, as there was this year with armed robberies, I am very concerned and try to figure out how JSA can best leverage its resources to help combat this problem.”

Robberies increased substantially in 2011, but 229 robbers were arrested. JSA suggests that the increase in robberies could be the result of the increase in gold buying stores, which are often run by inexperienced personnel who are particularly vulnerable to robberies.

“While the 10 to 20 year trend in crime against jewelers in the U.S. has been down, this downward trend in crime may end, and crime may rise,” says Kennedy. “That is what history tells us. There will be a constant battle to fight crime that will never be over. In some years and quarters you win some battles, but the war rages on.”

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