The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) is offering rewards for information leading to the recovery of rare coins and paper money stolen in a half dozen, seemingly-related burglaries from the offices of Southern California rare coin dealers.
“The ‘M.O.’ (modus operandi) appears virtually the same in each of the six recent thefts: they occurred on Sundays when the dealers’ offices were closed, and the thieves scrambled in and out in under two minutes,” said Robert Brueggeman, PNG executive director.
“They scooped up whatever looked valuable from desktops or shelves,” he said. “Even though they usually could not break into a safe in that short amount of time, they still got away with hundreds of thousands of dollars in rare coins, bullion pieces and bank notes.”
PNG and two victimized PNG dealers, Kevin Lipton of Beverly Hills and Numismatic Emporium of Woodland Hills, are jointly offering rewards totaling $20,000 for information that successfully leads to recovery of their stolen numismatic items.
Burglars also broke into the offices of PNG member Barry Stuppler of Woodland Hills, and dealers Mark Chrans of Malibu and Joel Malter of Encino. A sixth Southern California dealer who recently was burglarized has requested anonymity.
PNG also is offering security advice for dealers to protect themselves and their inventory.
Brueggeman is also president of Positive Protection, Inc., a company that provides on-site security services and high-value merchandise protection for many coin conventions and jewelry shows across the country. He offers these seven safety tips to dealers to help prevent potential burglary losses:
1) Use alarms and double-bolting on all entrance and exit doors and windows, and make sure the alarm system is on each and every night.
2) Add motion detectors to all hallways.
3) Never leave any portion of your inventory lying around. Always place merchandise inside your alarmed safes at the end of each business day.
4) Reinforce the doors and walls to rooms that house your safe(s) and working table(s).
5) Never let anyone see your “behind-the-scenes” operation who you don’t know or haven’t been introduced to by someone you trust.
6) Increase camera surveillance systems to include DVR real-time recordings which are kept in a safe-type enclosure and can be reviewed in the event of a problem.
7) Use “man trap” entry and exit doors that can help prevent or at least delay someone from entering or leaving when you are open for business.