The number of crimes against the jewelry industry dropped in the first half of this year, in a continuation of the trend seen in recent years, according to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) as cited by JCK Online. The decline is due to increased activity by law enforcement bodies and better security precautions by jewelers, the JCA said. There was a fall in the number of reported crimes to 528 from 562, while losses in dollar terms declined to $30.8 million from $33.2 million. “The trends are still favorable,” says John Kennedy, JSA president, who thinks industry consolidation is part of the reason for the fall. “There are fewer salesman losses because there are fewer salesmen on the road,” he told JCK.
Despite the encouraging figures, there is still crime of all kinds against jewelry retailers, the report says. In the first six months of 2016, there were 30 smash-and-grab robberies, 187 grab and runs, 49 distraction thefts, 36 sneak thefts, and more than 40 gunpoint robberies. There were 10 instances, an “unusually large number,” said the JSA, of burglars using vehicles to break into jewelry stores, and 20 cases in which burglars broke into stores via a roof or adjoining business. A growing trend is that of hacked emails that appear to be from longtime customers, and trying to con jewelry wholesalers into sending merchandise on consignment, which is then not paid for. “It’s really difficult to deal with because you think you are speaking to your clients,” Kennedy says. “The only way you can check up on it is to call your client directly.”
Law enforcement officials this year have also broken up a number of gangs that prey on the industry. These gangs’ crime sprees now generate increased publicity, as surveillance video from the incidents is widely shown on TV news reports.