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Jewelers’ Crime Losses Drop 26% to Hit Record Lows

Losses declined to $53.4M.

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Dollar losses from crimes against U.S. jewelry firms decreased by 25.9% from 2017 to 2018, hitting record lows, according to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance’s 2018 Annual Crime Report.

Losses declined to $53.4 million in 2018 from $72.1 million in 2017. The 2018 figure represents a 75% decline in dollar losses since 1999 on an inflation-adjusted basis.

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“Due to support from the industry, JSA has been able to add substantial resources to its crime analysis and intelligence capability, its reward program and its crime information-sharing effectiveness,” said John Kennedy, JSA president. “In addition to informing the industry with frequent Crime Alerts, JSA shares detailed intelligence information regarding jewelry gangs, suspects and crime patterns with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, both here and abroad, on a daily basis. JSA receives countless messages of thanks from law enforcement personnel for information that has helped in their investigations, and from jewelers who have prevented crimes.”

JSA’s Report indicated both the ups and downs of U.S. jewelry crime statistics for 2018:

  • The total number of crimes increased from 1,394 in 2017 to 1,441 in 2018.
  • Dollar losses from off-premises crimes (such as against traveling salespersons or losses at shows) decreased from $18.1 million in 2017 to $7.2 million in 2018, a record low since at least the 1980s.
  • Smash-and-grab robberies rose from 71 in 2017 to 129 in 2018, an increase of 81.6%, while arrests of smash-and-grab jewelry criminals increased from 28 in 2017 to 65 in 2018.
  • One jeweler was killed during a robbery in 2018, tied for a record low since 1980, compared to five in 2017.
  • Jewelers in mall locations experienced 66.4% of all on-premises crimes in 2018, compared to the crimes at all locations such as strip centers, downtown locations or standalone stores.
  • Grab-and-runs were the most frequently reported crime, with 641 cases.

Kennedy said, “A big advance in JSA’s work, and an important element in the reduction in crime, has been JSA’s growing ability to map crime patterns and target hot spots, and to work with multiple law enforcement agencies spanning many states and jurisdictions to coordinate information sharing on suspects and gangs. When JSA sees a crime pattern emerging, JSA is able to be all over it. Information goes out to JSA’s Members, to the broader industry, to the trade media, and a dialogue is opened with the relevant FBI or other law enforcement personnel, including agencies in other countries.”

Get a copy of the full report here.

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JSA is a non-profit trade association providing crime prevention information and services to the jewelry industry.

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Louis Vuitton to Sell Jewelry Made From World’s Second-Largest Diamond

The deal follows LVMH’s acquisition of Tiffany & Co.

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LVMH Sewelo Diamon

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE has entered a deal to sell jewelry made from the world’s second-largest diamond, known as the Sewelo diamond.

It’s a 1,758 carat gem that’s the size of a tennis ball.

Lucara Diamond Corp. announced a deal with LVMH and the HB Co., a diamond manufacturer from Antwerp, that will see the diamond cut into pieces and made into Louis Vuitton jewelry.

Bloomberg reports that LVMH “will likely create several extremely high-end pieces  to establish a sense of exclusivity.”

A price tag for the Sewelo has not been revealed. Yahoo Finance notes that it sold for $53 million in 2017.

The acquisition is further evidence of LVMH’s plans to grow its jewelry business, according to Bloomberg. It follows the company’s nearly $16 billion acquisition of Tiffany & Co.

The diamond was recovered from Lucara’s Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana in April 2019.

According to a press release from Lucara:

Lucara will receive an up front non-material payment for the Sewelô and retain a 50% interest in the individual polished diamonds that result.

Further, 5% of all of the retail sales proceeds generated from this historic collection will be invested directly back into Botswana on community-based initiatives undertaken by Lucara.

Lucara CEO Eira Thomas said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Louis Vuitton, the famous luxury House, to transform the historic, 1,758 carat Sewelô, Botswana’s largest diamond, into a collection of fine jewellery that will commemorate this extraordinary discovery and contribute direct benefits to our local communities of interest in Botswana.”

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Karma Hits Hard as Bungling Thieves Lock Themselves in Jewelry Store During Robbery (Video)

A judge called the crime a ‘fiasco.’

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Security footage of a jewelry story robbery described as a “fiasco,” with the thieves briefly locking themselves in the business, is making the rounds on social media.

The bungling robbers struck the Ital Gold shop in Green Lanes, Haringey, north London, the BBC reports. The crime took place in April, but the video surfaced recently when Andrew Elliott, 32, was sentenced to seven years in prison for the robbery.

A store worker “was held in a headlock and dragged to the floor,” according to the BBC. She broke free and ran away, hitting a panic alarm and then hiding in the bathroom.

Footage of the heist has accumulated 1.3 million views on Twitter, Today.com reports.

In the clip, the suspects tried to flee but realized they were trapped, as the door wouldn’t open from the inside. One of the suspects thought to hit the “catch and release” button, according to Today.com. The thieves then repeatedly failed to hold the door for each other.

In sentencing Elliott, Judge Mark Dennis QC said, “This was a planned and organized robbery, however much of a fiasco the latter part of it turned out to be,” according to the BBC.

The three still managed to make off with $27,000 in jewelry. The other two suspects have yet to be identified.

Watch the BBC’s clip:

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Signet Stock Soars to Best Day in 27 Years Following Strong Holiday Results

Digital sales led the way.

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Signet Kay Jewelers

Signet Jewelers Ltd.’s share price soared on Thursday in the wake of strong holiday sales.

The stock saw it’s largest single-day gain in 27 years, climbing more than 40 percent, MarketWatch reports. It closed at $30.13 per share.

Signet (NYSE: SIG) on Dec. 5 predicted that same-store sales for its fourth-quarter, which ends in January, would be down between 2 percent and 4 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

But strong holiday sales prompted the retailer, whose brands include Jared, Kay Jewelers and Zales, to raise its guidance. It’s now predicting that same-store sales for the quarter will be up 0.1 percent.

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Digital sales have been particularly strong. For the nine weeks ending Jan. 4, they were up 13.5 percent compared with the same period a year ago. Brick-and-mortar sales were down 0.2 percent.

“Product newness, investments in our digital capabilities, and more targeted marketing campaigns drove both e-commerce and brick and mortar growth in North America,” Signet CEO Virginia Drosos was quoted saying.

Read more at the MarketWatch

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