coin collection from thieves by AmericaNowNews.com
- October 24, 2012
Due to the recent recession, lots of people are investing
in gold and silver coins.
According to CoinWeek, the number of people who bought
a U.S. coin valued at more than $1,000 tripled from 1998
The price of gold today is twice the amount it was back
in the 1980s, and a silver coin dated before 1964 can fetch
upwards of $30 an ounce.
This has made coin collections a popular target for thieves.
Crooks aren't just targeting professional coin dealers.
They've also been known to hit anyone who has rare and valuable
coins stored at home. If you have a coin collection, or
are thinking of starting one – listen up.
Robert and Shirley Marchand, and her son Douglas Dooley,
died as a result of a home invasion robbery near Baton Rouge,
The motive? A gold coin collection valued at over a half
"We think it was planned," said Ascension Parish
Sheriff Jeff Wiley. "The indication is that this was
not a spontaneous crime."
All three victims' throats were slit. Both men died at
the scene. Days later, Shirley Marchand died from her injuries.
The stolen safe was recovered, with only a single coin found
Doug Davis is the founder and president of the Numismatic
Crime Information Center in Arlington, Texas.
For 25 years, he has investigated a number of horrific
crimes involving the theft of coins, even the murder of
one of his close friends.
"We found him tied to a table, bound and shot five
times execution-style," Davis told America Now Reporter
It's a crime on the rise. Rare coin thefts have occurred
in Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, Arkansas and Kansas—just
to name a few.
Davis says any coin collector can be a target.
"You're in a business and hobby that involves a lot
of value and money," Davis said.
Criminals often steal rare coins and precious metals because
it's easy for them to dump these items and extremely hard
for police to trace where the valuables came from.
Each week, hundreds of people bring their rare coin collections
to Jake Blackman at Piedmont Rare Coins in Charlotte, North
He says coin collectors should be more discreet about what
"That is typically the biggest mistake people make
by telling everybody that they collect coins," Blackman
Coin collecting magazines or coins ordered online and shipped
to your home address are also major red flags for crooks.
"The best thing to do is to get a post office box
if you are having coins shipped to you," Blackman said.
Coins worth more than a couple hundred dollars should be
certified by an organization like National Guaranty Corporation
or Professional Coin Grading Service if you want them insured.
Once you send them off and they have been evaluated, they'll
come back 'slabbed' in a plastic case with a certification
number, bar code, and hologram seal.
Most insurance companies need documentation like this to
increase coverage on your homeowners insurance policy to
protect your coin collection.
One of the worst places to store valuable coins is in a
"If a thief sees a firebox, that's the first thing
they are going to grab," and Blackman added, "Most
of those small fireboxes are not very secure."
A crook only needs a dolly to roll an average-size gun
safe out of a home.
For a small number of coins, Blackman says you would be
better off hiding them in a hard-to-reach place in your
home like the attic.
"Find someplace that is safe and secure that cannot
be easily targeted by someone trying to get into your house,"
Both experts America Now interviewed for this story agreed
that a safe deposit box is the best place to store rare
"If something does happen in your house--if someone
breaks into your house--they're not going to get those valuables
because they're off-site," Blackman noted.
Depending on the size, most safe deposit boxes cost less
than $100 a year which is a small price to pay for the peace
of mind in knowing your coins are secure.
"Once you become a collector or dealer of numismatics,
you become a target," Davis warned. "You have
to do everything you can to protect yourself, your family
and your employees working for you."
If you are ever robbed, the best thing that can help investigators
find your coins is if you have an inventory containing a
detailed description of each coin.
You can also sign up to receive up-to-date crime alerts
from the Numismatic Crime Information Center.