Jewelry and Gem Theft

Jewelry thieves endanger lives and steal millions each year. The FBI's Jewelry and Gem Theft Program helps combat this crime.

The FBI’s Jewelry and Gem Theft Program helps law enforcement and the jewelry industry combat jewelry theft. More than $100 million worth of jewelry is stolen each year, and jewelry thieves often use weapons in their crimes.

The FBI is involved in these types of thefts because jewelry thieves often:

  • Steal in more than one city or state
  • Operate in criminal enterprise or theft groups that fall within federal jurisdiction
  • Commit other organized crimes that fall under the FBI’s jurisdiction
Jewelry Display Case Smashed

How Jewelry Thieves Operate 

Jewelry thieves use fences, or people who sell stolen goods on behalf of the thieves. Fences are people who convert stolen jewelry to cash. The money is then laundered in another city or country. Many fences travel across the country or the world to buy the stolen jewels.

The most popular fencing cities are Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, and New York City.

Jewelry theft rings are organized and violent. They require a sophisticated and multi-jurisdictional response.

The FBI’s Role in Stopping Jewelry Thieves 

The FBI uses our national and international resources to investigate jewelry theft rings and improve coordination among law enforcement, jewelry professional, and jewelry industry security experts. The FBI also supports an industry-operated database (maintained by the Jewelers Security Alliance), that allows law enforcement agencies to search for and identify stolen jewelry.