Arrests made in attempted sale at Long Beach Expo of alleged stolen coins

Security camera captures show security officer tackling one of two alleged suspects
By , Coin World
Published : 06/14/16
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Arrests have been made and charges filed in connection with the attempted sale June 10 at the The Long Beach Coin, Currency, Stamp & Sports Collectible Show in California of coins reportedly stolen in a residential burglary in the City of Redlands.

Long Beach police report that two men were taken into custody at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center soon after Patrick Coward, a former New York Police Department homicide detective who was helping to provide security for the show through Positive Protection Inc., tackled one of the suspects as he tried to flee.

The dramatic takedown was recorded on surveillance video captured by Stack's Bowers Galleries in front of that numismatic firm's booth on the convention floor bourse. The alleged accomplice of the man tackled by Coward was stopped by security at the bourse floor exit as he tried to leave with a backpack containing alleged stolen coins valued at more than $300,000.

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Long Beach police identify the two men taken into custody as Keenan Shufford, 24, of San Bernardino, and Rich Smith, 27, of Los Angeles. Shufford was charged with one count each of robberty and receiving stolen property.

Donn Pearlman from Donn Pearlman & Associates Public Relations issued details on behalf of Positive Protection, Inc.:

"They reportedly were trying to sell coins at the Long Beach Expo in the Long Beach Convention Center. One dealer they approached, Karl Stephens, thought the coins they were offering had been stolen earlier in a robbery in the San Bernardino, California area,” said Patrick Coward, a guard for Positive Protection of Temecula, Calif. a company that provides security services for coin and jewelry dealers.

"When the suspects tried to leave, the dealer shouted out to stop them. I was nearby and when one suspect started to run I chased him and tackled him at the door. Additional security personnel from the show helped subdue him. The second suspect was stopped without a problem at the door as he tried leave. His backpack was filled with more than 100 ancient coins and other gold and silver coins worth more than $300,000," said Coward.

“With the help of a knowledgeable dealer and the fast action of trained security professionals, two suspected thieves were caught and valuable, stolen rare coins have been recovered,” said Robert Brueggeman, president of Positive Protection which provides on-site security for all the Whitman Expo and American Numismatic Association convention shows. “We always want a safe, enjoyable environment for dealers and the public at these collectible shows, but we also must always be on alert.”

Long Beach police are working with Redlands detectives to determine if the suspects may be responsible for the residential burglary.

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