Jewelry Industry Crime Falls in First Half of Year

Jewelry industry-related crime fell significantly in the first six months of 2013, according to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance.

The New York City–based industry group logged 740 incidents in the first half of the year, down from 844 in the same period last year. The amount of dollar losses also fell, to $35.3 million, from $41.1 million during the same period in 2012. Both numbers are the lowest recorded since 2008.

“The trend is down overall,” says JSA president John J. Kennedy.

The only statistic that has grown is off-premises crime; most of those ­incidents involve traveling salespeople or jewelers in their homes. The JSA notes that 26 incidents occurred in the first half of the year. To put that figure in perspective, however, there were more than 150 off-premises crimes a decade ago.

Still, the most sobering statistic is there continues to be a greater-than-usual number of home invasions. While suspects were arrested in a widely publicized April Connecticut robbery, ­Kennedy points out that another invasion was recently thwarted when the perpetrators noticed cameras.

“That shows these guys are still out there,” he says.

The saddest number from the first-half report references two homicides, including the June 26 murder of Georgia jeweler Mitch Mobley and that of a traveling salesman. Since the end of June, there have been three additional homicides, Kennedy says, including two people shot at a San Francisco ­jewelry store and another jeweler killed in New Mexico, raising the total deaths to five so far for 2013.

“There has definitely been a flurry, and that is disturbing,” Kennedy says.

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