July 14, 2005
JSA Reports Disturbing June Uptick in Robberies
The Jewelers' Security Alliance released statistics regarding armed robberies of retail jewelry stores in the U.S. during the first six months of 2005. JSA's data listed 116 retail jewelry store robberies between Jan. 1 and June 30. The distribution of the 116 robberies by state indicates that 31 states suffered such crimes, with four states sustaining double figures in robbery occurences: Florida (17), Texas (16), California (13) and New York (10).
"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 was a very unusually high total of 34 robberies," says John Kennedy, president of JSA. "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 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% of the robberies were in mall stores and 60% 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," says 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 about JSA, go to www.jewelerssecurity.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.