Jewelry Crime Reached Record Level in 2022, JSA Says
At JSA’s annual luncheon, President John J. Kennedy said the organization recorded more than 2,000 cases last year.
Kennedy said members of the industry reported 2,141 cases to JSA in 2022—the highest number ever recorded by the organization—and the crimes weren’t isolated to one type.
They were a mix of everything, he said—smash-and-grabs, grab-and-run, distraction thefts, etc.—adding that JSA is also now seeing criminals following customers from jewelry stores in order to rob them after they’ve made a purchase.
“The situation is not good at all. It is extremely dangerous,” Kennedy said.
In light of the uptick in crime, JSA said it needs to raise more money to hire additional staff. At the luncheon, Kennedy unveiled details of what he described as a “multi-pronged plan” to increase revenue for the organization.
The plan includes not only raising dues but also having sponsors take out ads on its website and in its popular weekly e-newsletter alerts.
JSA will also introduce a tiered pricing structure in which members will have to pay more to have access to additional services, like consulting.
“JSA needs to fulfill the promises of April 25, 1883,” said Kennedy, referencing the date the organization was founded 140 years ago.
Also during the luncheon, held Saturday at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, JSA also honored two individuals with the presentation of its annual awards, the James B. White Award for law enforcement and the Industry Service Award.
Joseph Metsopulos, a detective with the New York City Police Department’s Major Case Squad, received the 24th annual James B. White Award for his work fighting jewelry-related crime in New York’s Diamond District.
In his five years investigating Diamond District crime, Metsopulos has worked more than 250 cases, brought about the prosecution of 60 individuals, and recovered millions for victims.
Last year, Metsopulos also received the John J. Kennedy Award during AGS Conclave, awarded to law enforcement and security professionals who have served the jewelry industry.
The 18th annual Industry Service Award went to Stanley Oppenheim, founder and CEO of DGA Security Systems. Unable to attend due to illness, Oppenheim’s son, Daniel Oppenheim, accepted the award on his father’s behalf.
DGA supplies alarm, video surveillance, access control and fire systems to diamond and jewelry companies. Oppenheim built the business from nothing into a company that employs 600 people and has a state-of-the-art facility in New Jersey.
JSA’s luncheon was one of a number of industry events that took place over the weekend in New York.
The weekend started with the Jewelers Vigilance Committee’s annual luncheon on Friday afternoon, featuring U.S. Ambassador James O’Brien, who spoke about the additional sanctions expected to be levied on Russian diamonds.
Jewelers of America’s Gem Awards followed on Friday night, with the annual 24 Karat Club banquet capping off the weekend on Saturday.
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