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Industry News: Jewelry Homicide Suspects Caught; Obama Signs Yelp Law; ‘Made In Canada’ A Plus; More December 21, 2016 (0 comments)


Nabbed! Thugs Who Killed Mississippi Jeweler And Employees Caught In Kansas

Jackson, MS—An 81-year-old jeweler and two employees were shot and killed December 17 during a robbery at a jewelry store/pawnshop in Jackson, MS. In a breaking news alert Wednesday, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance reported the arrest of the two suspects, one male and one female (below), identified as Joshua M. Garcia, 37, of Biloxi, MS, and Jamieson L. Townsend, 35, of Blue Springs, MO.

According to reports, police believe the pair may also have committed a burglary at a jewelry store in Pascagoula, MS, four days earlier.

The two stole five high-end watches as well as jewelry and coins from Bill’s Pawn and Jewelry in Jackson. The two escaped in a red Dodge Charger, the vehicle in which they were later apprehended in Johnson City, KS, after a traffic stop for not having registration displayed on the car. The drove off but were chased by a deputy until their vehicle crashed. Townsend was arrested in the vehicle and Garcia, a short time later after a foot chase.

“JSA and the entire industry are grateful for the excellent cooperation between law enforcement agencies, and the rapid apprehension of these dangerous suspects,” says John Kennedy, president.

JSA credits cooperation between law enforcement agencies with the rapid capture of two violent thieves that killed a Mississippi jeweler and pawnshop owner and two of his employees.

Separately, a second robbery and shooting occurred last week at a jewelry store northwest of Detroit, MI. There, two male suspects wearing ski masks held the owner and his son at gunpoint and demanded all the jewelry and money in the safe. One of the suspects fired a shot that bounced off the floor and hit the storeowner in the back but despite his injuries, the storeowner jumped into his pickup truck and followed the suspects’ car. The suspects shot at him again during the chase before he rammed their car with his truck. The suspects fled on foot. One—a prison parolee with a long rap sheet—was captured; the other is still at large. A reward of $1,000 leading to his capture is being offered by Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

JSA advises jewelers against resisting or chasing suspects in a robbery.


President Obama Signs Off On ‘Yelp Law’

Washington, DC—Businesses have a little less leeway to deal with consumers that post negative reviews online.

HR 5111, also known as The Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016—which became law as of December 14—forbids businesses from slipping a “bad review clause” into consumer contracts. Here’s an example of how that works: the Hudson, NY-based Union Street Guest House used to have a clause in its event contract reserving the right fine event customers $500 for every negative review posted by either them or one of their guests. The facility, which prides itself on quirky vintage architecture and furnishings, apparently received a host of poor reviews from guests expecting a mainstream hotel experience. The clause, which also had provision for returning the monies once the negative reviews were taken down, was intended to encourage wedding parties and other event planners to let guests know in advance what to expect at the facility. Instead, the clause unleashed a firestorm of negative publicity for the hotel. Now clauses of that type are against the law in contracts.

Businesses that feel they are being unfairly and viciously targeted online, however—such as this Boston jeweler—still have the option to sue for libel and defamation in civil court.

But the best way to resolve negative reviews is to proactively manage your online reputation and of course resolve disputes in a timely and professional manner. Here are five good tips to manage your online reputation on Yelp and other sites.


‘Made In Canada’ Is A Plus For Consumers

Toronto, Ontario—With “Made In America” becoming increasingly important to U.S. consumers—trade was one of the key points of Donald Trump’s campaign—our neighbor to the north also ranks very highly when it comes to country of origin. According to this article in The Globe And Mail, consumers the world over have a very positive view of Canada and the quality of Canadian-made goods. It’s not just maple syrup and cold-weather gear, either: Canada has a robust transportation industry and, of course, is home to multiple diamond mines, where responsible sourcing is a hallmark of Canadian diamond marketing.


2017 Jewelry Industry Summit Announces Agenda and Speakers

New York, NY—The Jewelry Industry Summit, an open forum on sustainability and responsible sourcing, announced the agenda, speakers, and sponsors for its second two-day meeting, Jan 29-30 at the Tucson Convention Center. 

The Summit's goals are: 

The summit agenda includes two days of morning and afternoon sessions to work on guided problem solving of a variety of issues. The first day’s morning session is "Strengths, Opportunities and Aspirations," with Lisa Manley, executive vice president, sustainability strategy & communications at Cone Communications, a public relations and marketing agency that specializes in corporate responsibility communications and strategy.

The afternoon session will feature Thea Polancic, managing partner of ClearSpace, LLC, and founder and chair of the Chicago chapter of Conscious Capitalism. The session also will address "Imagining the Future of Industry Segments" and "Identifying Key Elements of a Sustainable Future," and a reception ends the first day.

Bob Mitchell, vice president of social and environmental responsibility for the Electronics Industry Citizen Coalition will open the second day. EICC members commit to and are held accountable to a common Code of Conduct and utilize a range of EICC training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement in the social, environmental and ethical responsibility of the global electronics supply chain. The session also will work on "Identifying Possibilities to Support Sustainability by Industry Segment" and "Exploring Possibilities to Support Sustainability." Finally, participants will work on "Prototyping Tools, Strategies, and Initiatives" and "Rapid Stress Testing of Prototypes" before wrapping with "Refine, Redesign, and Plan for Prototypes."

Poster sessions also will commence during the Sunday cocktail reception. 20 posters will address the challenges the jewelry industry faces in responsible sourcing. A representative from each poster’s organization will be on hand for questions. Deadline for participation in the poster sessions is January 23, 2017; contact Richard Nehls at

Sponsors at press time include the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), Signet Jewelers Ltd., ABN AMRO Bank, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), SCS Global, the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences (AIGS), the Rapaport Group, and media partner The New Jeweller magazine.

Cost to attend is $275. To register, sponsor, or review the outcomes of the March 2016 event, click here.


Israel Diamond Industry Reaches Agreement With Tax Authority

Ramat Gan, Israel—After 10 months of intensive negotiations, the Israeli diamond industry has finalized the terms of an agreement with the Israeli Tax Authority. The new tax agreement is in line with international financial regulations.

One of the achievements of the agreement is that diamantaires will no longer pay taxes when they incur losses. They also will now be able to deduct all of their expenses from income, and pay tax only when they show a profit.

Israel Diamond Exchange President Yoram Dvash said, “The previous tax agreement by which we paid tax on turnover even during years of losses is no more. This is an historic achievement that will enable us to concentrate on growing the diamond industry.”

The industry cooperated with the Tax Authority in total transparency, Dvash said. “Our goal is to manage our books and to pay taxes like every other business in Israel. The agreement is truly a win-win situation for Israel and for the diamond sector, which supports thousands of families.”

Following the new agreement, the industry expects it will now become easier to access much-needed lines of credit. Dvash said the new agreement greatly reduces the risk factor for the banks, and he expects a significant easing in bank credit, with Israeli banks that had sharply raised interest rates and closed accounts of diamantaires once again welcoming their business. Dvash received a promise by the government to endorse freed-up credit lines to the industry by the Israeli banks. 

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