Crime Doesn’t Pay, Does It?
There have been two crimes in the numismatic world recently that have obtained a degree of publicity on the internet - the first is the robbery of around US$4 million in rare US coins from a dealer attending a coin show in Florida early in the New Year, the second is the murder of a US coin dealer last year.
The theft in Florida was incredibly brazen - thieves held the coin dealer at knife-point in the middle of the day, right out the front of the hotel where the convention was being held.
The latter crime was featured on "America's Most Wanted", where the prime suspect was spotted by an ex-con who had shared a cell with him. The murderer was charged and convicted - no matter how cheesy I think these programs can be, if they lead to the occasional arrest like this, they are surely worthwhile. The (US) State Retail Coin Dealer’s Association and the American Numismatic Association recently made an ex-gratia reward payment (worth US$12,500) to the ex con as thanks for his efforts.
News like this really is a brutal reminder of the importance of security, no matter if we're dealers or collectors. While it can seem natural to chat about a valuable coin, collection or transaction with friends & acquaintances, remember that it's often not who you tell that comes back to stick a gun in your face, but it's who they tell (often unintentionally).