US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for Aug. 29, 2022: Thefts on the rise

Coins are often the targets of thieves. This rare 1894-S Barber dime has been missing since it was stolen in 2019.

Original images courtesy of Numismatic Guaranty Co.

Anything of value can attract the wrong kind of attention, particularly from thieves who want to steal it, whether your car or your coin collection.

Two stories on that theme attracted my attention this week. One appeared on National Public Radio, written by Greg Rosalsky who investigated national trends on car thefts after his 1999 Toyota Tacoma was stolen. The other article is by our own Larry Jewett, who reports on a series of thefts occurring during the recent American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois.

Car thefts have been much in the news of late. Apparently some ethically challenged individuals have been using social media platforms like Tik-Tok to illustrate how easy it is to steal certain models of cars and trucks. Rosalsky reports on that trend and on recent national statistics of car thefts, noting that the most commonly stolen vehicles tend to be older and cheaper vehicles rather than pricey new super cars. Most newer models have engine cutoff technology that makes theft much harder.

In the numismatic community, thefts have always occurred, and major conventions like the ANA World’s Fair of Money draw criminals like sugar water attracts hummingbirds. Even before the show opened to the public, a brazen group of thieves disguised as convention center workers made off with an entire case of rare watches, coins and cash when the dealer stepped away from the table. The thieves distracted a show worker to spirit away their loot.

Coin World receives theft alerts on nearly a daily basis from the Numismatic Crime Information Center, which is operated by Doug Davis, who is both a former law enforcement officer and a leader in the numismatic community. Mail thefts, thefts from private carriers, store break-ins, robberies, thefts from dealers leaving a show by car — there seems to be no end in sight to thievery.

Davis notes that coin thefts have been rising lately. Show officials need to be especially mindful of their responsibilities to their patrons. As Larry writes about the ANA show thefts, “The incidents cast a pall over what could have been otherwise labeled a positive event.”

Be vigilant.
Connect with Coin World:  
Sign up for our free eNewsletter
Access our Dealer Directory  
Like us on Facebook  
Follow us on Twitter


Community Comments