Behind the Sparkle: The Dark Truth About Crime in the Jewelry Industry


Robbery rates were lower in 2023 compared to 2022 but are still impressive with their numbers. The good thing is at least the majority of grab-n-runs don’t involve armed conflicts.

Posted on May 4, 2024

The jewelry industry has always been rife with criminal activity. As if by magic, robbers are drawn in by the shiny sparkle of gems and gold. However, they are mesmerized not by their beauty, but rather by the value of the pieces stolen.

According to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, robbery rates have been somewhat lower in 2023 compared to 2022 but may still impress you with their numbers. As of the previous year, there have been 1,621 crimes committed against jewelry businesses in the US. You might find this figure staggering but only until you hear the all-time high statistics from 2022. That year, the Alliance registered 2,211 cases revolving around jewelry companies. Surprisingly, the amount of losses incurred is almost the same in the two years, averaging 131.3 million US dollars. Therefore, sometimes there’s a weak correspondence between the number of robberies and the actual value of things stolen.

The Head of the Alliance, who is coincidentally the 35th US president’s namesake, observes the high prevalence of security concerns among jewelry store owners even though the industry has become safer with more advanced measures in place. In part, their fear is amplified by the wide coverage of local crimes in the media. Nowadays people tend to have a negativity bias as a result of too much exposure to the news. Today you are simply more likely to hear about some small robbery in the neighboring county than, say, fifty years ago. This creates the illusion that crime is more prevalent than it actually is.

Nonetheless, it’s always good to have your guard up when it comes to your valuables. However, if you find yourself in the worst-case scenario, the best thing you can do is just let go of your possessions and remember that the most valuable thing is life. Thankfully, most jewelry owners are wise enough not to risk their life in case of a robbery and most criminals won’t go as far as to kill someone for their loot.

According to John Kennedy, the majority of grab-n-runs don’t involve armed conflicts. The criminals prefer to go to the scene unarmed, knowing that their sentence will be milder if they get detained by the police. With this being said, this doesn’t mean that you are completely safe as a jewelry store owner. Offenders may use alternative weaponry such as a regular kitchen knife. Therefore, when dealing with an actual robbery, the wisest thing is not to provoke a criminal and show composure. Remember that for them, this event might be just as stressful, so you might want to make this easier for them and let the officials handle the rest. Sadly, there are still some very rare cases of jewelry-related murders (about one or two per year).

To avoid becoming another statistic, always be aware of the inherent risk of dealing with valuables. Keep an eye out for anyone who behaves suspiciously. If you think your jewelry store or office is being cased, don’t hesitate to contact the local police office. Inform the officers of any dubious activity and show them surveillance camera recordings. The US officers are highly competent at handling any level of danger. Remember, preventing a crime is always easier than dealing with its consequences.

By the way, it’s a common misconception that knights of fortune work only at night. As for the time when you should be most vigilant, the report shows that criminals tend to favor the pre-closing hours as well as the time between 1 and 3 PM. Statistically speaking, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most busy days for criminals. Moreover, keep an eye out for rascals around major holidays such as Christmas and the 4th of July. Also, the full moon tends to exacerbate mentally unstable states, so being extra alert three days prior to and three days after the full moon is always a good idea.

With this in mind, we hope you and your jewelry businesses always stay safe and never face an actual crime.

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