The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 2, January 14, 2007, Article 10


Thieves have once again targeted dealers traveling from the Florida
United Numismatists (FUN) show.  The Associated Press reported on the
latest incident in a story published Wednesday.  As before, although
the story does state that the robbery occurred off the show's premises,
headlines and other text makes it seem like the theft occurred at the
show.  One headline reads "Robbers net $4M in coin convention heist."

"Robbers in surgical masks pulled off a $4 million coin heist at
knifepoint outside a coin dealers convention, getting away with gold,
silver and a rare 1843 set of currency once owned by President Tyler,
authorities said.

"It was the second time in two years that the Florida United
Numismatists' annual coin show had been hit, and this year's loss
was much larger.

"On Saturday, a Minnesota coin dealer's employee was unloading an SUV
outside a luxury hotel when a robber in a surgical mask and a hooded
sweater grabbed him from behind and held a knife to his throat,
witnesses and the victim told authorities. Two other masked men grabbed
a suitcase from the SUV, according to authorities."

To read the complete story, see: Full Story

Cindy Wibker of FUN writes: "The headlines are most irritating, since
there has not been a single incident AT the FUN show.  All of these
events occur after people have departed, and in all cases for the last
two years that I'm familiar with, the people who suffered a loss did
not follow the guidelines we gave them. They have either walked out
the front door of the convention when we had provided a secure and
private area for them, or they transported high value coins without
an armed police escort or armored car service, or they stopped to eat
a meal and left their goods unattended, etc.

"FUN's security is outstanding, and this year it was greatly enhanced
with many more uniformed off-duty sheriffs' department personnel.  They
were highly visible and patrolling the parking lot and the building
continuously.  FUN has done everything possible to maximize security
at the show, but it takes the organization and the dealers working
together to prevent these unfortunate events from occurring.  We will
continue to feed security information to all our dealers and provide
the best security available during our convention."

John Kraljevich writes: "This has a lot of folks pretty scared -- the
front curb of the nicest convention-area hotel is a pretty spectacular
location for an armed robbery. The parking lot of the convention
center, after last year's spate of off-location robberies, showed far
more visible security than usual including cruisers parked willy-nilly
all over the place. Apparently if you're desperate enough (and drove
ALL the way from Miami, where the attackers were allegedly from), this
will just drive you to a less secure but far higher profile location
to commit your crime."

[Fighting criminals is like a game of whack-a-mole.  Smack 'em down
in one place, they only pop up again somewhere else.  Be careful out

The coins stolen include a ten-piece 1843 U.S. Proof Set (Half Cent
through $10 Gold Eagle).  The coins are in PCGS slabs with the notation
"Pres. Tyler Presentation Set".  Other notable coins include an 1836
Gobrecht Dollar, also in a PCGS slab with the notation "Ex. Troy
Weisman".  Heritage has distributed a copy of the inventory to its
customer list.  To report a possible sighting or get a full copy of
the list, contact Chris Napolitano of Summit Rare Coins at (651)
227-9000.  -Editor]

The St. Paul Pioneer Press published an article on the incident
Thursday, January 11, interviewing Laura Sperber of Spectrum Numismatics.

"The attack by three masked robbers came in the lobby driveway of the
Peabody Hotel about 6 p.m. Hundreds of dealers were in Orlando for the
Florida United Numismatists' annual show, one of the largest in the

"It would be the equivalent of going to a Vikings game and robbing a
Vikings player during the game," said Sperber. "It was that brazen a

"Dealers also are worried because the thieves took off with business
records and a Rolodex of names. Sperber thinks this attack will bring
a new safety focus."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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