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Is Watch & Jewellery Theft on the Rise in 2024?

Q Report Team
Updated on March 19, 2024
4 min read

In 2024, a concerning surge in theft threatens the world of luxury as watches and jewellery become targeted possessions.

With global incidents of watch and jewellery theft surging, securing your prized possessions is not just a choice; it's an urgent necessity. From major cities to tranquil locales, no place is immune to this growing menace.

This blog sheds light on the surge in luxury theft, revealing critical insights into the most targeted items, global hotspots, and effective preventive measures. 

As theft becomes more sophisticated, your elegance demands protection. Your treasures are at stake, but the following information could help protect them. 

Don't let theft tarnish your luxury – empower yourself with this knowledge.

Watch & Jewellery Theft Trends & Reports in 2024

The landscape of luxury item theft is undergoing a stark transformation, with data from insurance giant Aviva revealing a notable 43% surge in claims related to high-end jewellery theft.

The statistics, drawn from Aviva Private Clients' high-net-worth claims underscore a concerning trend. The targeted items range from bespoke and diamond jewellery to coveted timepieces. 

Unveiling a concerning narrative, instances of jewellery theft have taken on aggressive dimensions, involving muggings, thefts from vehicles, and home invasions during owners' absences, often coinciding with vacation periods.

This data reveals a surge in jewellery, shedding light on the emerging patterns, vulnerabilities, and tactics of perpetrators.

Investigating the Most Common Luxury Items Stolen

As part of the rise in luxury theft, watches emerge as prime targets, with stories surfacing almost daily and intensifying during the summer holiday season. 

Recent revelations from The Watch Register, a comprehensive database dedicated to monitoring stolen timepieces, underscore the gravity of the issue, revealing a staggering report of "over £1 billion of watches" encompassing nearly 80,000 stolen timepieces. 

The surge in watch theft not only spotlights the vulnerability of these coveted accessories but also intertwines with a broader trend impacting the entire luxury sector.

Hotspots of Heist: Global Theft Surge in Key Cities

Luxury watch theft is reported at higher rates in major cities worldwide, where criminals are strategically targeting high-value items. 

In the United Kingdom, police data reveals a staggering 41% surge in watch thefts in 2022. Notably, London alone accounted for nearly half of these crimes, with thieves honing in on esteemed brands like Richard Mille. 

The average price of a pilfered luxury watch in the city rose to £9,000, almost doubling the previous year's average. 

Across the Atlantic, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department reports a 30% increase in theft involving watches valued over $5,000 in 2022 compared to the previous year.

London's Metropolitan Police have responded proactively, by deploying undercover officers with valuable timepieces in identified hotspots, resulting in 27 arrests and 21 convictions, with a cumulative prison sentence of 26 years.

The battle against watch theft is intensifying in these global hubs, prompting innovative law enforcement strategies to curb this rising tide.

Protecting Your Precious Jewellery and Watches from Theft

Luxury jewellery and watches are coveted treasures, making them prime targets for theft. Safeguard your prized possessions with these vigilant measures and get comprehensive coverage with jewellery and watch insurance for when those measures fail.

Home Security Fortification

  • Invest in a comprehensive alarm system with glass break sensors to cover all entry points.
  • Install a high-security safe for enhanced protection.

Travel Savvy

  • Choose discreet timepieces when travelling to avoid attracting unnecessary attention.
  • Use a nondescript case for multiple watches, keeping them inconspicuous during travel.

Social Media Caution

  • Be mindful of sharing luxury items on social media, minimising the visibility of your collection.
  • Avoid geo-tagging locations to prevent attracting unwanted attention from potential thieves.

Regular Valuations

  • Ensure regular valuations of your jewellery and watches, considering the fluctuating market values.
  • Keep a documented record, including photographs and serial numbers, to potentially expedite insurance claims.

Centralised Database Registration

  • Leverage platforms like Enquirus or The Watch Register to register and search for lost or stolen watches, enhancing collaboration with law enforcement.
  • Take advantage of brand-specific theft protection policies, such as Audemars Piguet.

Watch and Jewellery Security while Travelling

  • Store watches and jewellery in a secure main vault when staying at hotels instead of relying on in-room safes.
  • Use central monitor alarm systems to cover all potential vulnerabilities in your residence when away from home.

Be Informed About Local Crime Trends

  • Stay updated on recent incidents of thefts in your area to adjust your security measures accordingly.
  • Collaborate with local law enforcement to contribute to community safety efforts.

Insure Your Jewellery and Watches

  • Explore comprehensive jewellery insurance and watch insurance options.
  • Insure your assets against unforeseen theft with the right coverage for you.

A Final Note on Covering Your Collection

In a world where luxury watches and jewellery are increasingly becoming targets for theft, safeguarding your prized possessions is a consideration. 

The rise in global theft incidents, particularly in major cities, underscores the need for proactive measures to ensure the safety of your opulent collection in conjunction with insurance for when most unforeseen circumstances still arise.

Q Report's watch insurance and jewellery insurance not only provide cover for your valuable assets but could also offer the peace of mind that comes with knowing you're covered, allowing you to enjoy your elegance. 

Don't wait until it's too late – with Q Report, your cherished collection remains protected against most unforeseen losses. Get your free jewellery insurance and watch insurance quote online now.

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