Jewelry crimes up 3.5 percent in 2009

The following article is published courtesy of: National Jeweler

New York–The number of jewelry industry crimes rose slightly in 2009, with a significant uptick in incidents that occurred in stores or other business premises versus crimes that happened on the road, the latest data released by the Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) shows.
According to the JSA’s 2009 Annual Crime Report, released Thursday, the number of crimes against the jewelry industry totaled 1,557 in 2009, up from 1,505 in 2008. Total dollar losses from crimes against jewelry firms declined from $103.5 million in 2008 to $97.7 million in 2009, a 5.6 percent decline.

Interestingly, 2009 data shows that while dollar losses and incidents of on-premises crimes–robberies, burglaries or thefts at a jewelry store, wholesaler’s office or manufacturing plant–mounted in 2009, off-premises crimes, primarily attacks against traveling jewelry salespersons, fell.

According to the JSA, on-premises criminal events totaled 1,420 in 2009, a 7.7 percent increase from 1,318 such crimes in 2008. Dollar losses for on-premises incidents totaled $72.9 million, up 20.3 percent from $60.6 million in 2008.

Off-premises events fell from 187 in 2008 to 137 in 2009, a 26.7 percent drop, according to the data. Financial losses during off-premises events totaled $24.8 million, down 42.2 percent from 2008’s $42.9 million.

In the report, the JSA states that the two major reasons for the decline in off-premises attacks were greater enforcement by local police and the FBI, and the significant decrease in the number of traveling salespeople on the road due to the economy.

As for homicides, JSA data shows a slight rise in the number of jewelry industry personnel killed during criminal incidents in 2009. According to the report, three jewelry industry workers and one customer died during robbery events over the past year, as compared to one jewelry staffer and one customer in 2008, and one staffer in 2007.

The total number of people killed during crimes against jewelry firms, including alleged criminals, declined from 11 in 2008 to 7 in 2009.

The report also provides a breakdown of crime by location.

The data shows California continues to lead the country in the number of jewelry crimes, with a total of 223 incidents in 2009. Rounding out the top five are Florida, where 133 crimes were reported, Texas with 110, New York with 106 and neighboring New Jersey with 58.

The JSA notes that there was a significant rise in the number of rooftop burglaries, where the initial entry onto the premises is made through the roof, in 2009. Seventeen states reported a total of 58 rooftop burglaries during the course of the year, with Florida leading the way with 24 such crimes.

According to the report, the states with the least amount of jewelry crime in 2009 were South Dakota and Vermont. No reports of jewelry crimes were submitted to the JSA from these two states.


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