(ATLANTA) - The Georgia Jewelers Association (GJA) has entered into a partnership with Crime Stoppers of Greater Atlanta, announced Jan Fergerson, GJA President. This partnership will, among other things, offer rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of persons committing crimes against the jewelry community.
“For a number of years we have seen an escalation of crimes against the jewelry community, both from the opportunistic criminal and organized groups,” said Fergerson. “Most recently and tragically one of our members, Mitch Mobley, in Villa Rica, lost his life in one of these robberies. It is our hope that the creation of a reward program will encourage these criminals to think twice before committing a crime against a Georgia Jewelers Association member jeweler in the future.”
The GJA reward fund aims to help law enforcement officials across the state fight crime against jewelers. At its Aug. 3, 2013 meeting held in conjunction with the fall SJTA Trade Show in Atlanta, the GJA board adopted a motion offered up by Stark Harbour, president of insurance agency William Adams & Associates Inc.
According to Harbour, whose agency’s services include connecting jeweler clients with tailored insurance protection and loss-prevention resources from Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, he raised the motion in an effort to help the numerous retail jewelers who had shared concerns about the rising incidence of armed robberies in the state.
To implement the resolution, GJA established a task force to be headed up by GJA members Jeff Alexander of Alexander’s of Atlanta and Bill Spencer of Spencer’s Jewelers. The task force met Oct. 3 with Crime Stoppers of Greater Atlanta.
“We are grateful to Stark Harbour of Jeweler Mutual Insurance who sparked this idea,” said Fergerson. “Our Board of Directors took the idea and developed it into a great partnership with Crime Stoppers.”
The Georgia Jewelers program with Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta engages the entire community - citizens, media and law enforcement - to work towards making communities safer by identifying the people committing crimes and getting them off the streets. When a jewelry crime is committed anywhere in the State of Georgia law enforcement officials will have the opportunity to request the posting of a reward to help solve the crime. In addition, the Georgia Jewelers Association will have the ability to increase the reward for member stores. The Association represents jewelry store owners from all areas of the state of Georgia as well as associate members from the jewelry manufacturing community.
The Southeastern Guild of the American Gem Society made the first donation to GJA’s reward fund with a $1,000 contribution. Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company of Neenah, WI has agreed to make a contribution to the fund in the amount of $2,500. Patrick Drummond, Jewelers Mutual’s chief sales officer, has agreed to support this effort and will coordinate with Harbour in raising funds from organizations and jewelers.
Anyone wishing to get involved or make a contribution to the fund may contact the Georgia Jewelers Association office at 770-424-7567 or Stark Harbour at 800-935-9871. Please make your check payable to Crime Stoppers of Atlanta and note “GJA Reward Fund” in the memo section of the check.