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Common Sense Security Tips

telephoto1telephoto1 Posts: 4,638 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 18, 2022 9:26AM in U.S. Coin Forum
(Edit to note- this is an old thread of mine that was posted after Julian was hit on his way home from a show-thought it might be helpful to bump it in light of recent discussions. These tips apply equally well to collectors as they do to dealers- thx)

Julian's recent tragedy has stimulated a lot of talk about security as it pertains to dealers at coin shows. When it comes to security, a little common sense goes a long way...here are just a few tips based on personal experience as well as that of other dealers. I'm sure others will have things to add based on their own experiences as well. Feel free to chime in. Some of these sound painfully obvious... but surprisingly, many (including myself!) don't always follow these tips. And collectors, some of these can be equally valid for you as well. Most of us drive to a preponderance of the shows we attend, so these tips are offered with that in mind.

1) Don't travel alone, especially if you have an extensive or high-value inventory. If possible, have someone else with you to watch your back, cover your table while you're doing deals and help load/unload. A buddy of mine pays his son-in-law $200 or so for the weekend to be his helper at bigger shows (plus he gets the occasional nice coin out of it!).

2)Vary your routine. Don't always stop at the same place at the same exit to get gas on your way to or from the show. Vary your route as well; the secret is to not be predictable. Take a secondary road coming in and the highway coming back, or vice versa, or a combination of both. Gas up the night before the show, and gas up the last night of the show. That way you're ready to roll.

3) Don't stop at a restaurant to eat on the way home and leave a car full of coins unattended in the parking lot. If you need food that badly, two words...DRIVE THRU. Better yet, eat before you leave the show. Same thing with bathroom breaks. Try to do your business before you take off. Bottom Line... keep the number of stops to a minimum. If you want to have a nice dinner to celebrate a good show, great. Just do it once you're home after everything's tucked away.

4) Inspect your car before leaving home, and again before leaving the show. It takes 60 seconds to do a quickie walkaround to look for foreign objects in tires, etc. and when leaving the show, to check wheel wells, bumpers, etc. for possible added "lo-jack" surprises. Plus, it's a good idea regardless. I found a piece of metal in my tire this way that undoubtedly would have led to a flat before I got home.

5) Don't draw attention to yourself. I remember back when money was flowing like water in the late '79- early 80s period... lots of guys driving flashy cars, wearing gold loupes and Rolexes, talking loudly about how much money they're making, putting wads of cash in their showcases (to show how much they sold, or show that they're buying for cash, etc.). Leave the flashy stuff at home and keep cash secreted. Besides, no one's impressed..except the guy who will be waiting for you in the parking lot or following you home. When you come and go you want to be as inconspicuous as possible.

6) Be observant. Look around for suspicious people hanging around in the parking lot, suspicious cars, etc., park in an easy access, well lit area, and once on the road, get in the habit of checking your rear view mirror periodically. Leave maneuvering room between yourself and the car ahead. If driving and you think you're being tailed...if in town, try the "around the block" test. Virtually no one who "just happens to be going the same way" is going to follow you around the block. If on the interstate, take an exit and then get right back on the highway again. If they are still following, you may have cause for concern. See #7.

7) Have a fully charged cell phone with you at all times. Keep the car-charger cord in the vehicle. If you have any serious doubts, call for help. Better to have a false alarm than an armed robbery.

8) Elephant in the room time....firearms. We all know fellow dealers that pack one. This is a judgement call. Follow the laws in your area and be safe. Enough said.

9) This should go without saying, but I still see some guys doing it. Don't drink at the hotel bar the last day of the show- or at all, if it's just a one-day show. Besides the obvious drinking/driving implications...more liquids= more bathroom stops, and alcohol= impaired judgement, even if you aren't technically inebriated. Celebrate after you get home.

10) When you get home, get your items secured as quickly as possible.

A final note...If you are traveling alone, ask the show promoter or venue for help. They usually have helpers available to assist with loading/unloading. The key is to get in and out quickly.

Hope this helps.image

RIP Mom- 1932-2012


  • Thats just common sense.
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  • telephoto1telephoto1 Posts: 4,638 ✭✭✭✭✭

    << <i>Thats just common sense. >>

    I knew someone would say that.

    RIP Mom- 1932-2012
  • PTVETTERPTVETTER Posts: 5,836 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The best advice is don't travel alone!

    If you think you are being followed call someone.
    The police is the one I would call and explain to them what is happening.

    Stay on main highways as much as possible.

    Cell phones are a good idea onstar also.

    Never leave a car unattended for ANY reason.

    Dealers going to the same general area should be close together and exchange cell phone numbers in advance. No real need to convoy. Just being within a mile or two is good enough.
    Pat Vetter,Mercury Dime registry set,1938 Proof set registry,Pat & BJ Coins:724-325-7211

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 44,841 ✭✭✭✭✭

    << <i>

    << <i>Thats just common sense. >>

    I knew someone would say that.
    image >>

    The trouble is that common sense is in short supply these days. Great advice and thanks for sharing.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • telephoto1telephoto1 Posts: 4,638 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know at least 3 dealers that have lost coins because of not following #3, believe it or not...

    ...and I and many others tend to be creatures of habit and are still occasionally guilty of not following #2. image

    RIP Mom- 1932-2012
  • cladkingcladking Posts: 28,124 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'd tell ya' my common sense security tips but then I'd have to kill ya'.

    Come to think of it some might not be common sense. image

    When not traveling use safety deposit boxes. A home safe might be OK
    for a little bit of junk providing no one knows you have it. It is a terrible
    first plan and not good for plan "B".

    Don't park too close to your destination. And then don't start out straight
    toward it. When you leave, leave quickly and suddenly.

    Pay attention to your surroundings and try to make a mental note of every-
    one who knows your business. Avoid stops especially the first couple hours
    after leaving a location.

    Most of what you need to do is look at the situation from a thiefs perspective.
    Some people have to be "out there" but if you can don't be.

    Oh, and the best way to avoid trouble; just collect worthless modern crap. image

    I don't mean to make light of recent events and do hope it works out well.
    Tempus fugit.
  • If there's a security guard at the show, hire him/her to accompany you to your car.

    If not, call the cops and arrange for them to send an officer. After all, that's why we pay local taxes.

    It is health that is real wealth, not pieces of gold and silver. Gandhi.

    I collect all 20th century series except gold including those series that ended there.

  • << <i>If not, call the cops and arrange for them to send an officer. After all, that's why we pay local taxes. >>

    I'd be surprised if the police agreed to act as a personal security service for you.
  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 44,841 ✭✭✭✭✭

    << <i>

    << <i>If not, call the cops and arrange for them to send an officer. After all, that's why we pay local taxes. >>

    I'd be surprised if the police agreed to act as a personal security service for you. >>

    Agree. An off duty cop may provide security for a fee if prior arrangements are made.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • telephoto1telephoto1 Posts: 4,638 ✭✭✭✭✭
    We used to put on a Civil War memorabilia show in Indianapolis...we always hired off duty Indy cops as security. Good investment, plus they are armed, unlike most private security rent-a-cop services...they usually don't carry.

    RIP Mom- 1932-2012
  • telephoto1telephoto1 Posts: 4,638 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Bumping this old thread in light of recent discussions. Please feel free to add or expand upon what's been posted. B)

    RIP Mom- 1932-2012
  • UpGrayeddUpGrayedd Posts: 490 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks I appreciate it.

    Philippians 4:4-7

  • JWPJWP Posts: 14,630 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1st secure/lock up your items before leaving the house/apt. You can always get a guard chihuahua, yappers can make a burglar wonder If it is a worth breaking in or not.

    USN & USAF retired 1971-1993
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