However, the manpower and resources needed to catch these criminals are often staggering in light of other more heinous crimes the agency could be spending time on. However, this type of criminal act should be eliminated entirely to protect those that possess items of considerable monetary value. With individuals committed to stealing other’s possessions or from a business, this possibility may never become reality.
Several types of theft exist. These all may have differing sentences when a conviction occurs against someone. There are some differences in burglary, larceny, the act of robbery, dissimilar types of fraud, the actions of stealing from department stores, embezzlement of funds from a company and others. Many of these types of illegal acts have the potential to become major theft, but other criminal thefts charges of art, cargo, copper, jewelry or gems, mass retail and vehicles are considered more of the major acts of stealing. The amount of money that may be garnered from these items is usually greater than may be taken in other crimes.
A staggering $6 billion in art is stolen each year in the United States alone. The individuals that steal art pieces often have specific reasons for doing so. They often want to resell the pieces or hold them for ransom by those that originally possessed them. When these works are stolen, it has been deemed artnapping. A very low ten percent of all art stolen is recovered by the person that bought the piece. It has been explained by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization that the theft of art is one of the top monetary crimes in existence in the modern world after drug and illegal arms trades. Because art is usually small and often easily concealable and transportable, there is a draw for thieves. With the value of these works often very high, a single stolen item may garner millions to the thief. Because of these issues, museums have more stringent methods of safeguarding works through expensive security measures.
Jewelry and Gem Theft
When a person considers jewelry and precious gems to be more easily obtainable, he or she may cross state lines and even borders of other countries to procure these objects. This does draw the FBI to these crimes which often elevates the charges to a federal level. Over $100 million in losses are reported each year for the theft of various types of jewelry of precious gems. Because the thieves are frequently carrying weapons, injuries and death may be the outcome of these thefts. To ensure money is gained from these crimes, the thief may use a middleman called a fence. A fraction of the cost of numerous necklaces, rings, bracelets, diamonds, rubies and other gems and jewelry is usually obtained.
The person used to obtain money from these items attempts to sell the pieces through legitimate means to others. When this middleman is good at his or her job, the person buying the jewelry or gem usually does not have any knowledge that it was stolen and resold. To become a good middleman, the person may take these items from one area to a completely different one. Law enforcement has revealed that the most common fenced locations in the United States are Miami, Los Angeles, New York City and Houston.
One reason many retail stores have for raising prices is the theft of goods from stores. This crime has an estimated $30 billion loss each year due to thieves taking items from businesses. This could be through a variety of means such as fraud with credit cards, swapping price tags on items and other similar methods. This has caused prices to soar in many stores throughout the country. Injury may occur to consumers when items are resold and not properly stored or labeled. That may mean multiple crimes are being committed by a single person or multiple individuals. The theft of cargo on ships or other vehicles also falls into this category of organized retail thievery. All manner of vehicles are used to transport goods, and criminals have been targeting these transport methods to take these items. This usually leads to at least twenty percent increases in prices for consumers in stores.