There have been no reported thefts of traveling jewelry salespeople at the nation’s airports in the year since Sept. 11, 2001, the Jewelers Security Alliance said on Tuesday.
“This is a remarkable demonstration of what increased enforcement can do,’ says John J. Kennedy, JSA president.
Virtually all thefts and robberies of traveling jewelry salespeople in the United States are committed by professional South American theft and robbery gangs, which target them, notes JSA, and airports, traditionally, have been the sites of frequent losses to the gangs. However, notes JSA, because of tighter security measures imposed at airports since the terrorist attacks last year, such as repeated checking of identification and keeping people out of airport areas where they don’t belong, airports are now “one of the few places that keep the South American gangs away [and are] incomparably safer for jewelers,” says the JSA report.
“The increased inconvenience [of new security procedures] at airports has been accompanied by greatly increased security for jewelers and their merchandise.”
In a related report, JSA also says that traveling salespeople’s losses to theft and robbery—almost all to the professional South American gangs—were down 20% in the first half of this year, compared to the first six months of 2001. “That is due to the increased vigilance by both police and salespeople,” says Kennedy. “We’re all more vigilance since 9/11.” There is also tighter enforcement against the gangs (including a new FBI task force based in the South, at the urging of JSA) and closer cooperation between federal and local law enforcement authorities.”
Other changes since 9/11 are frustrating the crooks, too, he noted. “Immigration is more difficult, as is travel, even for rental cars which now require more documentation [to rent].”