Did You Know

  We’ve all heard about stolen antiques and art work; it’s not a new phenomenon, but it’s not only items valued in the millions of dollars such as a four-pound ruby carved in the likeness of the Liberty Bell, worth $2 million stolen in Delaware recently or art work stolen from museums worth millions of dollars.

We are all familiar hearing about thefts of jewelry, coins, collectibles and antiques, but today items such as lawn ornaments, copper, brass, bronze & aluminum are catching the eye of clever thieves as a way to make instant cash. What kinds of items are thieves looking for? The answers may surprise you!

Today, January 25, 2012 copper is at $3.81 per pound, aluminum is over $1.00 per pound, nickel comes in at $9.64 per pound and Iron over $1.00 per pound. Theft of these items can be lucrative for thieves! Items you never had to think about before used to decorate your yard or home are now sought after as a means of quick cash. Items of interest you may have never thought about before include Cemetery markers and flag holders marking the graves of United States war veterans; many commemorate Civil War, The War of 1812, WWI and WWII, as well as in Korea and Vietnam. Did you know it is illegal to sell these at auctions? Metal bells, garden statuary, garden plaques, air conditioning units and bird baths are of interest to thieves today for scrap value.

Other items for antique value rather than scrap that most people wouldn’t give a second thought to are vintage weathervanes and metal doorstops. A prime example and testament as to how clever and determined thieves have become is an antique weathervane in Massachusetts was stolen from the cupola of a barn roof. Not only was it stolen, but an inexpensive fake decoy resembling the original was put in its place. The owner believed one of the legs of the horse had broken off; when he climbed up onto the roof to check it out, he discovered the phony weathervane.

Original circa 1860s to 1900, 41 inches between the front hoof and the tip of  tail. Phony horse weathervane that was placed atop the barn's cupola to mask the theft.

A Taylor Cook penguin doorstop was reported stolen while on display at an Antiques Show and Sale. Valued at $8,000, the cast iron doorstop from the 1930s is marked "Taylor Cook #1" and stands approximately 9¼ inches high by 53/8 inches wide by 1½ inches thick.
 
   
So what can you to protect yourself? Simple precautions can go a long way. Keep an eye on your possessions and your neighbors too. If you have a home security system be sure to display that fact with signs, they do help deter many thieves. Take detailed pictures and an inventory of “valuables” both inside and outside of your home. If something is stolen, report it to the police, place an ad in the local paper along with a good description, alert the public with a theft report on Craig’s list and or contact your local scrap yard. These are just a few tips we hope will help you!
 


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