This year was much better for jewelry thieves than five-finger petit, car, and property thieves. . In 2012, theft victims lost fewer cars ($3.8 billion worth, down from $5.6 billion in 2008), TVs and stereos ($756 million, down from $966 million in 2008) and livestock ($15.6 million, down from $22.8 million in 2008). Despite this drop, thieves made off with $300 million more in jewelry and precious metals than they did last year.
The suspects have planned out every last detail. These types of thefts are much more sophisticated than the standard smash and grab robberies of before. Jewelry thieves, using all black gloves, masks, and other jet-black clothing, as well as a number of potentially dangerous supplies, including gas tanks and blowtorches. These thieves cut through thick concrete and steel to get into the back of safes, vaults, and lockboxes filled with jewelry just waiting to be sold to a black market buyer. Because jewelry thieves wear masks and gloves, police do not typically have DNA or fingerprint evidence to investigate. In the meantime, all police can do is release whatever surveillance video of the robbery is available in hopes of catching the thieves.
Many small time jewelry thieves take advantage of one’s poor choice in storing one’s jewelry in a non-secure location in one’s home, or take something that has clearly not been worn regularly that has not been put away in a secure location, such as a safe deposit box. Many suffer the consequences of both the thief and the insurance adjuster after a theft, as many expensive items increase or decrease in value from year to year, meaning that the value of one’s endorsement may change as well.
Most robberies that are not normally considered high-stakes robberies tend to be the more risky crimes in practice. Many carjackings, wallet thefts, and other smaller value theft crimes tend to have a more spontaneous beginning and, for many, abrupt end when arrested by police. Most of these crimes involve damaging car windows and threatening victims at knife or gun-point. Witnesses sometimes remember faces, and sometimes they don’t. However, it is much more likely that one will be apprehended if the victim saw one’s face or any identifying marks that would make one susceptible to being identified.
If private institutions do not have one on video, a government owned camera might. The Department of Homeland Security awards billions of dollars per year in Homeland Security grants for local, state, and federal agencies to install modern video surveillance equipment. For example, the city of Chicago, Illinois, recently used a $5.1 million Homeland Security grant to install an additional 250 surveillance cameras, and connect them to a centralized monitoring center, along with its preexisting network of over 2000 cameras, in a program known as Operation Virtual Shield. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley announced that using the aid of the federal government, Chicago would have a surveillance camera on every street corner by the year 2016.
This high amount of government surveillance now in place in most major cities makes getting away with a crime in a public place extremely difficult if not impossible.
When one is charged with a criminal offense of this nature, the choices one makes at the beginning of one’s case can greatly impact the direction of one’s case, especially one’s choice of an experienced Jacksonville theft defense attorney.