News | Security
JSA Says Crime Drops Overall in 2004
On-premises burglaries were up, however
The Jewelers Security Alliances annual report on crime statistics in the U.S. for 2004 shows on-premises crimes against jewelers (primarily retailers) totaled $76.3 million in losses, down 11% from 2003. Off-premises losses (primarily against traveling salespeople) totaled $32.9 million, down 26%.
The report shows great improvement over 2003, says JSA, but also demonstrates the jewelry industry is still dangerous. JSA is pleased by the continued decline in crime against the jewelry industry and the growing cooperation of law enforcement. However, as these statistics show, we still have a long way to go, says John Kennedy, president of JSA.
On-Premises Burglaries Up
A detailed look at the JSA statistics shows the overall number of on-premises criminal events was down almost 4%. However, the number of burglaries rose about 18%, with dollar losses from these crimes up 10%. The average loss per burglary was $68,000. The most active states for burglaries were Texas, New York, Ohio and Florida.
Nearly two-thirds of burglaries were three-minute burglaries, so called because of their quick nature, which usually are committed in the middle of the night. Burglars often attack a glass front door or window, smash display cases and steal out-of-safe merchandise visible from the exterior of the store.
During high-tech burglaries that involve a safe or vault attack, burglars often gain entry by making a hole in an adjacent unprotected wall, ceiling or floor after an alarm system has been compromised. Safe attacks declined significantly, which JSA attributes to arrests in California of members of two major burglary gangs and a successful effort by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to neutralize the nationally active high-tech burglary gang known as the YACS.
Grab-&-Run and Sneak Thefts Are Most Prevalent
There were more than 200 grab-and-run and more than 130 sneak theft losses in 2004. But the highest average dollar losses were for other kinds of thefts, especially:
- Where criminals cut and lift showcase glass and steal merchandise (average loss: $62,048).
- Internal theft (average loss: $58,469).
- Distraction thefts (average loss: $42,075).
Homicides of jewelers fell 72% in 2004, with only two jewelers and/or relatives losing their lives. This is the lowest number in more than 25 years. JSA does note that two retail jewelers were arrested for acting recklessly by firing shots at fleeing, unarmed thieves in crowded pedestrian areas.