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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 42, October 18, 2009, Article 11

COIN DEALER JULIAN LEIDMAN VICTIM OF VEHICLE BURGLARY

Several weeks ago we discussed engraved 1921 dollars, including one numbered #12 which had recently been offered in a Bowers and Merena auction. The lot description referenced a pamphlet which I'd never seen, an interesting acquisition for a bibliophile. Below is an image of a similarly engraved dollar (#4) -Editor

1921-D Engraved Morgan Dollar #4

This lot includes a large bound pamphlet entitled 12TH DOLLAR RELEASED FROM 1ST 100 EVER COINED AT DENVER MINT. THOMAS ANNEAR SUPT. [1921]. The front cover of the pamphlet also states:

Contained between these covers are copies of the auction catalogue descriptions, antiquarian documents and published articles over the year concerning this unusual rare coin and its eleven sister coins and of the historical event that caused their existence.

Julian Leidman After publishing my note I was contacted by my friend Julian Leidman, who told me he owned the lot and had the pamphlet in question, which had been prepared by a previous owner of the engraved dollar. He asked me to remind him to bring the pamphlet to the next meeting of our local numismatic social group Nummis Nova. Well, on Monday I sent him an email reminder, only to learn that the pamphlet had been stolen in a recently burglary of his car. The word spread quickly in the numismatic community - here are excerpts from some media accounts.

A $22,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thief or thieves who stole coins Oct. 11 from the car of Silver Spring, Md., coin dealer Julian Leidman.

The Numismatic Crime Information Center reports that a side window of Leidman's car was smashed and the coins removed. Leidman was returning from Coinfest, a show held over the weekend in Stamford.

The dealer community is banding together to help law enforcement solve the case. The reward stands at $22,000 as this is written, but it started out yesterday at $5,000 with the initial reward offer of Coinfest founders Laura Sperber and Jon Lerner through the Professional Numismatists Guild. Other PNG dealers followed.

Identifiable inventory items according to NCIC includes:

  • 1921 $20 gold piece NGC MS-61
  • 1932 $20 gold piece uncirculated
  • Several scarce date Libs and Saints
  • 1806 half dollar PCGS MS-63 (proof- like) planchet flaw on reverse
  • 1807 half dollar PCGS MS-65
  • 1892-O dollar PCGS genuine holder incredible coin appears to be proof.
  • 1829 5 mark struck off center

Three contact phone numbers have been given for the use by anyone who can help with information.

To read the complete article, see: Dealers Rally to Solve Crime (www.numismaster.com/ta/numis/Article.jsp?ad=article&ArticleId=8011)

The below CoinLink article has more details on the missing inventory, and notes how quickly dealer community pledges grew the reward to over $70,000. Now it stands at over $160,000.

We urge Any Dealer or Collector to contact Detective Christopher M. Keezer of the Montville NJ Police Department at 973-257-4113 (CKeezeer@MontvilleNJ.org)or Julian Leidman at 301-585-8467 if they have any information about this crime, or think that any of the coins listed below are being offered for sale either online or in person. This is especially true for those attending flea markets, local auction houses, online auctions and "Brick and Mortar" coin shops on the East Coast.

To read the complete article, see: Coin Dealer Julian Leidman Victim of Vehicle Burglary. Reward Grows to $74,500 (www.coinlink.com/News/featured/coin-dealer-julian-leidman-victim-of-vehicle-burglary/)

E-Sylum readers, please help! Be on the lookout for that coin and pamphlet. If you see them being offered for sale, please contact the police or Julian at the numbers above. Julian also noted some distinctive paper money in the haul, including a Vermont colonial note and a "Sword-in-Hand" note. He writes: "I am hoping that anyone who sees anything unusual to contact me, as I can pretty much answer yes or no, quickly."

When I was about twelve our home was broken into and my fledgling coin collection stolen. Ever since I've had a safe deposit box for storage, but dealers on the road don't have that option. The dollar value was vastly different, but the sick feeling I'm sure is the same. Our sympathies to Julian - here's hoping someone in the numismatic community (maybe even an E-Sylum reader!) can provide information to break the case and put these thieves behind bars.

Below are Julian's descriptions of a few of the recognizable items. Thanks. -Editor

1806 HALF DOLLAR O-123 Gem Proof-like Uncirculated - My client has owned this piece for at least thirty years, having purchased it from Ed Milas of Rarcoa in Chicago. It is a very well struck example of O-123 without any die breaks and is far scarcer than a normal 123 that has die breaks and a weakly struck reverse center. The coin is wholly proof-like and naturally toned Gem Uncirculated specimen

1807 O-113 HALF DOLLAR PCGS MS65, GEM Uncirculated, Small Stars - This coin is a spectacularly toned GEM Uncirculated, prooflike, and the finest known 1807 half, period. Ex. lot #296 Lester Merkin's sale of 3/15/67, an incredible offering of early halves following his landmark offering of the Helfenstein Large cents and dimes in his 4/66 auction, Lester raved about this coin.

ENGRAVED #12 1921-D MORGAN DOLLAR Gem Toned Uncirculated, the 12th coin released-This is the 12th Silver Dollar released from the first 100 coins struck in Denver. The first two coins were presented to two Colorado institutions, one being the School of Mines, were not engraved. Neither of these coins is currently known. The 3rd coin thru the 12th are engraved as follows:

"-- dollar released from 1st 100
ever coined at Denver Mint
Thomas A. Annear Supt."

I believe that all of the 10 engraved coins are known today. The other 88 coins were not engraved and are not traceable.

1929 Five Reichmark Off-Center error

1929 Five Reichmark Off-Center error

1873 NGC PF 65 Proof Silver Trade Dollar Judd Pattern

1873 Trade Dollar Pattern

Serial Number 84 Currency Collection: Currency Collection (65 Notes Total) With Serial #'s of 84 This is a unique collection that I have been working on for over 30 years. Some are circulated and many of them are crisp uncirculated

Collection of Serial #84 notes

Sword-in-hand Colonial Note Massachusetts, August 18, 1775, the very famous Sword in Hand design, 11 shillings, fully issued with 3 signatures, re-dated in ink, 8/7, the only one ever seen by Eric P. Newman, THE expert in the series. Much finer than the 2 signature example in the incredible John J. Ford collection.


[Illustration is NOT Julian's note - Editor]

Other Colonial Currency

  • The United Colonies, February 26, 1777, extremely fine
  • The United States, January 14, 1779, $65, Bright Gem Uncirculated
  • Connecticut, June 1, 1773, 40 shillings, near uncirculated
  • Delaware, January 1, 1776, 20 shillings, beautiful uncirculated
  • Georgia, August 14, 1786, 20 shillings, almost uncirculated with a small corner repair
  • Maryland, April 10, 1774, $8, almost uncirculated
  • Massachusetts, 1779, 5 shillings, rising sun obverse plate designed by Paul Revere, extremely fine
  • New Hampshire, November 3, 1775, 30 shillings, probably a contemporary counterfeit, almost uncirculated
  • New Jersey, March 25, 1776, 6 shillings, red and black note, beautiful uncirculated
  • New Jersey, June 9, 1780, $4, signed by D. Brearley, signer of the US Constitution, extremely fine, ex. Joe Gallo and probably Otto Budde before him
  • New York, March 5, 1776, $1/3, (2 shillings eight pence), uncirculated
  • North Carolina, December 1768, 10 shillings, choice almost uncirculated
  • Pennsylvania, October 1, 1773, 20 shillings, uncirculated
  • Pennsylvania, March 16, 1785, 3 pence, very fine
  • Rhode Island, July 2, 1780, $3, gorgeous uncirculated, not signed on back
  • South Carolina, February, 14, 1777, $30, very fine
  • South Carolina, April 10, 1778, 7 shillings 6 pence, fine
  • South Carolina, February 8, 1779, $90, almost uncirculated
  • Vermont, February, 1781, 20 shillings, some restoration, appears very fine
  • Virginia, October 16, 1780, $1000, "Clothing for the Army" issue, very fine, rough edges, ink hole in signature
  • Virginia, March 1, 1781, $750, choice almost uncirculated

Alan V. Weinberg (retired LAPD) adds:

Many express the hope that the easily-identifiable coins, of which there are many according to the inventory, will walk into a coin shop or be offered at a coin show.

That depends. There are two scenarios. One is an unplanned, moment of opportunity by some unemployed, drugged out or evil-minded habitual thief or even a teenager who spots a briefcase or two in plain view on an unattended car seat. He breaks the window and makes off with the cases. Then, there is a good chance the material will end up at a flea market or on eBay or in a coin shop or show.

The other scenario, much more likely in my opinion, is a skilled, planned, surveilled grand theft by at least two cars of experienced coin and jewelry show thieves who target their victim during a show, watch for him (from a distance) outside at show closing and follow him home, using car to car communication.

They will follow the dealer as long as it takes for him to either stop for a meal or a restroom, or until the dealer is on an isolated stretch of road where they can shoot out his tire or his radiator, the dealer stops and then is at the mercy of the swarm of thieves. Indeed, as with early copper dealer Tom Reynolds victimized by Russian organized crime some years ago, they can even follow the dealer to his home doorstep or his shop, several states away, where he feels he is safely at home and can relax.

If it is organized crime, the coins will be much more skillfully fenced, perhaps stored away for years, perhaps sold in Europe, perhaps held for ransom with the insurance company. Organized criminals have multiple identifications, are often in the US illegally or on overstayed visas, aren't afraid of being caught, and , if they are, are too often trivially sentenced as the Criminal Courts regard such "property crimes" as non-violent and a matter between the victim and his insurance company.

Some have speculated whether the FBI will get involved. Only if they perceive a ring of skilled criminals are involved in multiple crimes in multiple venues and/or if they perceive the crime was an interstate effort, that is, the victim was trailed from one state to another with the criminals following. Then it is a Federal matter. If the Feds "blow it off" as an isolated opportunity crime by a local criminal , there's no Federal involvement.

How to protect yourself from a similar incident? No guarantees but I like the idea of hand-carrying in your pockets - jacket and pants - your best and most valued, unreplacable coins and currency. And light-weight chaining your briefcase to your wrist if you have to stop and exit your car. And hiding your most valuable assets in the car wheel well while packing your trunk , leaving the briefcases atop with lesser material. Law enforcement in the show parking lots after a show and even en route to the airport has limited effect. These skilled theft rings watch you from a distance and follow you , using multiple observation personnel.

From a story in the Daily Record:

The inventory of more than 1,000 coins included individual pieces valued as high as $160,000, as well as many extremely rare and unusual coins and currency dating to the Colonial era, he said.

"It was a huge amount, seven figures," Leidman said, enumerating the loss. "This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me."

He believes he may have been targeted during Coinfest.

"I was one of the last people to leave the show, and there were a couple of women around -- one of which had been by my table a few times," he said. "When I left, she was sitting out at the reception area of the hotel and she was on her cell phone, and my wife said, 'The lady just said, 'They're on their way out.'"

To read the complete article, see: Rare, valuable coins stolen in Montville (www.dailyrecord.com/article/20091014/COMMUNITIES/310140017/1344/NEWS14)

Kolbe 2009 Stack's ad 7


Wayne Homren, Editor

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