The small seaside town of Laguna Beach, California has been the setting for a reality television show and boasts plenty of multi-million dollar homes. What it doesn't have is a lot of crime which makes the news of a big jewelry robbery in the small town quite surprising. The OC Register reports
that three armed men robbed a local jewelry store and got away with more than a half-million dollars worth of jewelry. The three men showed up at the Joshi and Baca jewelry at closing time on Tuesday and held up an employee at gunpoint. Locals who passed by the store reported the crime and the police showed up and caught up with the robbers on a local road. The robbers ditched their car in a shopping plaza and ran away. Some of the jewels were recovered from the car. The police are following several leads.
Does it seem like there have been more robberies this year? The statistics from Jeweler's Security Alliance show
that this year they have seen a total of $45.9 million stolen with 682 cases. Compare this to last year's total of $48.4 million with 713 cases and it looks like this year is trending to beat last year's numbers.
John Kennedy of Jeweler's Security Alliance says that while robberies are up, the total dollar losses from jewelry crime is steady to down. He says there may be a few more of what he calls the "most crude jewelry crimes, such as a grab and run or a window smashing" but that the big dollar and violent crimes are not subject to the ups and downs of the economy. According to Kennedy none of the studies indicate that the economy has a significant influence and that crime can rise in prosperous years. Because jewelry stores have stronger security measures than many other businesses they are always not targets of the suddenly desperate. One less thing to blame on the economy.