Overall Jewelry Crime Down in 2007

Jewelers' Security Alliance logoOverall crime in the jewelry industry fell by a substantial margin in 2007 and there was only one member of the jewelry industry killed in a crime related event—the lowest number since at least 1980—according to statistics compiled by the Jewelers’ Security Alliance.

However, when comparing on-premise and off-premise crime, it’s a tale of two industries as on-premise incidents fell by double digits while off-premises one rose by double digits, according to JSA’s annual report on crime in the industry. However, there are far fewer off-premise crime than on-premise crime.

There were 1,291 criminal events in 2007, down 9.2 percent when compared to 2006 figures (1,422 events), JSA said. The amount of dollar losses fell 11.9 percent to $97.1 million, when compared to 2006 figures ($110.2 million). Losses in dollars fell 41 percent since 1998, when it totaled $164.66 million.

On-premise crime. Dollar losses for on-premise crime (which includes robberies, thefts, and burglaries at jewelry locations) fell 26 percent to $57.6 million. There were 1,114 crime events for 2007, a 12.1 percent drop year-over-year.

The most active state for on-premise crime (out of 36 states that reported) was California, followed by Texas, Florida, and New York.

There were four persons killed during crime events at jewelry locations, according to JSA. However, three of the victims were criminals. The only incident of someone in the industry being killed in 2007 was in November, when a New York City jeweler was stabbed to death by an employee who was caught stealing jewelry.

There were 21 non fatal incidents involving a gun being fired for the year, an increase from 15 in 2006. Out of the 21, 14 persons were shot and in seven cases, shots were fired and no one was hit.

Off-premise crime. Defined by JSA as criminal attacks occurring away from the victim’s base of operations, these types of crime events rose sharply in 2007, JSA reports. Dollar losses increased by 21.5 percent to $35.2 million and the number of cases rose 14.2 percent to 177. Traveling salespersons are almost always the victims.

More than 30 percent of these types of robberies involved a knife or gun, and in 29 percent of the cases the victim was physically assaulted, according to JSA.