The Jewelers’ Security Alliance 2010 Report Reveals Employee Theft As The Highest Average Loss To Jewelers

Jewelry Store TheftThe Jewelers’ Security Alliance recently released its 2010 Annual Crime Report which outlines the industry’s theft statistics for the year.  In 2010, the total dollar losses from crimes against jewelry firms in the U.S. declined from $97.7 million in 2009 to $80.8 million, a decline of 17.3%. The total number of crimes that were reported to the JSA decreased from 1557 to 1487, a decrease of 4.5%.  Although these statistics are encouraging due to declining numbers, the average theft loss by category is topped by internal or employee theft with an average loss of $37,061.  This is probably due to an employee having a significant amount of time to plan their crime, along with possessing inside knowledge as to the highest value merchandise located within the store. 

The following chart depicts the average loss in each category:

Category Average Loss
Internal Theft $37,061
Check Fruad $23,188
Distraction $19,823
Grab and Run $16,040
Sneak Theft $15,840
Diamond Switch $6,427






Background Checks Are Key For The Jewelry Industry And Retailers In General
Jewelry store owners along with all retailers are reminded to be diligent when conducting criminal background checks on applicants and current employees and to conduct comprehensive and in-depth checks.  The retail industry provides easy access to high-value merchandise and cash-on-hand.  Retailers should also pay special attention to prior criminal history involving theft and fraud as part of the due diligence process.  Cutting corners within your background screening program could cost you thousands in merchandise loss and higher insurance premiums.

Here are some tips for retailers when conducting criminal background checks: 

  • Properly identify your subject up-front to be sure you have the right candidate when conducting a background check.  Background screening professionals use electronic database information that helps them connect the dots when identifying aliases and other names that may not be disclosed by the subject.  This is especially true for criminals trying to hide identity and prior criminal activity;
  • Conduct a criminal background check where the subject has lived and worked using all disclosed and developed names and addresses for an extensive period of time (typically 7 years, if not more);
  • Search criminal court records within county, state and federal courts using information as described above.  Utilize national electronic criminal history information to help fill-in the gaps and conduct a criminal search with a national and international scope;
  • Search numerous government agency lists to be sure that your candidate is not currently being pursued by law enforcement agencies or may have an outstanding warrant for arrest;
  • Utilize credit reports, within state legal requirements, to uncover the financial stability of your candidate. A credit report may also include outstanding civil judgments, tax or government liens;
  • Verify prior employment credentials to help identify any prior activity of theft, fraud or performance related issues.
  • Conduct employee drug testing to ensure that your employees don't add to additional security and safety risks. 

EBI works with retailers across the nation to provide a full range of comprehensive and legally compliant employment background check solutions to help retailers prevent employee theft and reduce the risks and liability of a bad hire. 

Executive Summary

The Report also reflects the states of California, Florida, Texas, New York and Georgia as the most active states for burglaries within the jewelry industry.  The following is an Executive Summary of The 2010 report.  A complete copy of the 2010 report can be found directly on the Jewelers’ Security Alliance website. 

  • Off-premises attacks, primarily against traveling salespersons, declined from 137 to 113, a decline of 17.5%, to the lowest total since the 1980s. A major reason for the decline in off-premises attacks is a significant decrease in the number of salespersons on the road due to the economy. 
  • The number of on-premises robberies, primarily of retail jewelers, increased by 3.6% from the previous year; however, dollar losses decreased 15.5%. 
  • There were 377 Grab and Run losses at retail jewelers in 2010. In 2009 the JSA received reports of 359 Grab and Run incidents. California (41), Texas (41) and Florida (33) were the most active states. 
  • There were 538 arrests in 2010 of suspects who committed crimes against the jewelry industry, a 3.4% increase from the previous year.

EBI is committed to providing employers with valuable education, news and resources around background screening, drug testing, occupational healthcare and employment eligibility.  If you found this information useful, select the button listed below and access more industry news, resources and tips from EBI, an NAPBS Accredited screening firm and global leader in the background screening industry!

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Robert Capwell

Posted By: Robert Capwell

EBI’s Chief Knowledge Officer, Mr. Robert E. Capwell, is considered one of the leading experts in the background screening industry with over 22 years of experience in the field. Mr. Capwell was a contributing author of the second edition of the ASIS Pre-employment Background Screening Guidelines and has written numerous articles and whitepapers for various publications including a periodic column on background screening for The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Online. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Human Resource Executive Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, and several HR-related publications. Mr. Capwell speaks regularly to industry colleagues and HR Professionals both nationally and internationally.