Florida, Texas Lead in Armed Robberies

Jewelers’ Security Alliance statistics of armed robberies of retail jewelry stores in the United States during the first six months of 2005 show that Florida and Texas had the most of any of the 31 states where such a crime occurred. JSA’s data lists 116 retail-jewelry-store robberies between Jan. 1, 2005, and June 30, 2005. Here are breakdowns by state:

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

In addition to dollar losses of $22.6 million, JSA reported that three jewelers were killed in retail robberies in the first six months of 2005. 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 percent of the robberies were in mall stores and 60 percent in stand-alone locations.

“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,” said Kennedy. “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.”

For more information, contact JSA at (212) 687-0328 or (800) 537-0067; or e-mail: jsa2@jewelerssecurity.org.