The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 4, January 22, 2006, Article 7


Bob Hurst, Vice President, Florida United Numismatists, Inc
wrote to take exception my introductory text to last week's
item about the Hobo nickel theft in Florida.  I wrote: "It
wasn't all fun and games at FUN.  Readers are urged to be
aware of coin show security and be on the lookout for
stolen material in the numismatic marketplace."   These
sentiments seem straightforward, but apparently require
some explanation.

Bob writes: "I take exception to the first sentence as
I am sure that it was fun at FUN for that writer as he
mentioned meeting friends and purchasing HOBO Nickels at
the auction.  I am positive that it was fun."  [So let
the record show that yes, most people had fun at FUN.
I'm positive.  Absolutely.  We have photos of smiling
faces from the NBS meeting to prove it. -Editor]

On the second sentence, Bob writes: "It makes an
implication that FUN's security was not sufficient.
The writer goes on to state that during a specific time
a lot of coins were stolen out of the car that they were
riding in.  That car was in Kissimmee at a restaurant
13.5 miles from the convention center.  That is far beyond
the security requirements of FUN and falls squarely on the
shoulders of who ever owned the coins.  Why weren't the
coins checked into Security while they went out to eat?
That would have taken about 5 minutes of their time and
saved them lots of money!!!

It is always sad when someone has items stolen from them
and this is no exception.  Dealers who attend shows, must
realize that they are a potential target.  Utilizing
Security should not be an afterthought.  Arrangement can
be made if someone has to leave early in the morning or
late at night to pick up their valuables."

[Bob and I are in total agreement on this point, too, of
course. I can't imagine how anyone might think otherwise
- what happens miles from a show couldn't possibly be a
reflection on show organizers or show security.  By "coin
show security" (uncapitalized) I meant what individuals
themselves can do to ensure their day is a pleasant one.
So please, do as Bob suggests an avail yourself of Show
Security (capitalized) whenever possible, and be very
careful not to leave valuables unattended when traveling
away from a show. -Editor]

John and Nancy Wilson write: "It just breaks our hearts
with the information contained in The E-Sylum v9#03,
January 15, 2006 regarding the theft of collections of
Hobo Nickels from the carvers and collector.  The theft
took place at a restaurant in the vicinity of the FUN 06
Convention.  So much has been written regarding security
at coin shows and we're sure that most who attend
conventions take heed to it.

To the best of our knowledge (and we were at the show
from Wednesday to Sunday) no one was robbed at the FUN
Coin Convention held at the Orange County Convention Center.
Collectors, dealers and visitors should know that FUN has
outstanding security at the convention.  They also have
security room for the entire convention.

When you leave a convention you should always stop at the
side of the road or go around a block to see if someone
is following you.  If you are hungry, use a drive-through
at a restaurant.    It just doesn't make sense to have your
collectibles in a car and out of sight while you enter any
business.  Your numismatic items should be in your sight
all the time wherever you are.  We sincerely hope that the
hobo nickel collections can be found and returned to the

[This targeting of people leaving coin shows is a big problem,
and one can't be careful enough.  Thieves are becoming more
brazen and aren't above armed robbery.  An Associated Press
story published January 20th noted that: "Thieves stole
$450,000 worth of rare coins after trailing collectors from
a convention, breaking into their cars while they ate dinner
and robbing one at gunpoint more than 100 miles away.

"We haven't seen anything of this scale or this violent in
years," Coin World editor Beth Deisher said of the thefts
and robbery linked to the Jan. 5-7 gathering at the Orange
County Convention Center.

The biggest haul happened two hours from Orlando after the
coin show closed, when at least three men with a shotgun
followed a dealer to Florida's west coast."

William Dominick had stopped at a Waffle House in Bradenton,
where armed robbers smashed out the windows of his silver
Mercedes sedan while he sat in the driver's seat, according
to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Popping open the trunk, the robbers grabbed two steel cases
plus a briefcase and ran toward a black luxury car with tinted
windows. An intervening homeless man hit one of the robbers,
who dropped and left behind the largest case, reports show.

"It had $700,000 to $800,000 inside," Dominick said Thursday
of the recovered case. The contents included an 1879 U.S.
gold coin worth $150,000 and a $10,000 bill valued at $75,000,
he said.

"The blessing is that that homeless guy was there," said
Dominick, who gave the man a $100 bill."

"The thieves also struck while three collectors ate dinner
Jan. 5 near the convention, Orange County sheriff's reports
show. Dinner guest Daniel Bandish lost $35,000 in Morgan
silver dollars and $10,000 cash in the burglary. Dealer
and collector Charles Hager lost $66,000 worth."

"Crime reports list nine victims in five cases. Dealers
and Coin World said there may be a 10th victim, a coin
dealer from Branson, Mo."

To read the complete story, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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