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Craft show tips-theft


#1
 As a jeweler doing shows, especially if you work in precious metal
and you must be aware of the fact that there are
preditors who make their living by artfully stealing the entire
inventory of targeted jewelers. 

I definitely agree with this. Several years ago I stopped doing
mainstream shows and street fairs because of the theft factor. There
were shows where I had more stolen than I sold. The past few years I
have only done shows where the customers are preselected in some
fashion, like museum shows and science fiction conventions, and I
have had no problems with theft. This year I am scheduled to do a few
outdoor shows, and I have made some changes for better security.

Janet Kofoed


#2

Audie, I am new to this list; first time posting, but I have
experienced a $5000+ theft of antique jewelry here at an antiques
market in New York City. I filed a police report of the theft and
was able to show the loss on my 1040 schedule C, I believe in the
area for losses or bad debts.

I wasn’t aware I was being targeted because the theft ring was made
up of 5 multi-national thieves who seemed to be individual
buyers/lookers, and totally stangers to each other. The actual
theft was done by one individual who had never looked at anything in
my booth, but apparently was seated a few aisles away just waiting
for the time to move in.

Note: There were two of us working the booth and neither of us saw
the hit because we were both distracted by two different couples from
the group, but a few other vendors did, and told us what happened.
The large showcase was open on hinges with Plexiglas side panels, but
this guy had arms long enough to reach over the top of the glass and
grab the wedding ring tray at the very back of the case! I now keep
the glass top hinged open only enough to permit taller displays. I
later found out from other dealers at this show, and from security (I
didn’t know we even had security) that this group hits several shows
in New York on the weekends. One guy came back about an hour or so
later and proceeded to steal a pair of sunglasses from a booth close
to me. I was angry enough to go and confront him and he ran out of
the market into heavy traffic on Broadway. The following week I
brought my Doberman with me and kept her behind the tables as a
deterrent; these creeps showed up again, but passed up my booth when
they saw the dog (she was a big, muscular 90lb female). I finally
stopped doing the outside markets in Manhattan totally because of the
stress.

I don’t recommend confronting a thief, and most shows will not let
you bring a big dog because of insurance issues. However, it may be
helpful to find out whether there is security present and ask how to
alert them if you sense something is wrong. AIso, I now work with
one customer at a time; I do lose some sales, but haven’t had a theft
again.

One high end antiques jewelry dealer from Connecticut has an armed
guard come in at the end of the show, stand next to him while he is
packing up, and escort him out of the show to his home. Great if you
can afford it!

Hope this is useful.

Linda Rossi,
Estate & Antique Jewelry


#3
    I don't recommend confronting a thief, and most shows will not
let you bring a big dog because of insurance issues.  However,  it
may be helpful to find out whether there is security present and
ask how to alert them if you sense something is wrong. 

I do a lot of Gem & Mineral shows but mostly indoors. What we did
at one of the shows to send out a non-verbal signal to "watch out"
was to shine one of our lights upwards onto the ceiling.

Judy