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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Crime in the city: An Omaha stamp dealer's lament.

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FrequentFlyer
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24 Jan 2020
06:46:27pm
Some of us older collectors may remember that back in the 1960s theft of stamp collections and dealers stock was a hot news topic. Philatelic publications regularly reported the theft of collectors collections and dealers' losses. The situation was serious enough that the APS and some other societies stopped publishing a directory of members and their addresses.

I was going through some stuff long stored and came across this cover from the Independent Stamp Company, an old-line stamp dealer, located in downtown Omaha in 1965. The item is a fold-out advertisement for Independent's stamp and coin auctions and approval service. However, two-thirds of the ad space is given over to what was apparently a double robbery of the dealer's stamp and coin stock and the refusal or inability of local law enforcement to recover any of the stolen property. Ironically, after implying that the city fathers were inept or in cahoots with the burglars, the dealer optimistically tells customers they should buy with confidence!

It was a surprise to find this cover. I don't remember acquiring it, but I post it here as as a sign of the times 55 years ago. I collect stamp dealer covers and I have three others from this dealer dating back to the early 1920s. He apparently moved his business two or three times and ended up at this address in downtown Omaha. This cover will be a welcome companion to the others.

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philb
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24 Jan 2020
07:58:15pm

Auctions
re: Crime in the city: An Omaha stamp dealer's lament.

I remember when a 25 thousand dollar collection disappeared from John Nunes table,John was a trusting guy who i never saw without a smile on his face...they would have had to sedate me.

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"And every hair is measured like every grain of sand"
Bobstamp
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24 Jan 2020
08:35:47pm
re: Crime in the city: An Omaha stamp dealer's lament.

I know a Vancouver stamp dealer who doesn’t even bother to report thefts to the Vancouver Police, who simply don’t care, much less understand the slightest thing about philately. That shouldn’t surprise me. I once spotted a young, very drunk Asian student who had vomited and passed out. His friend was desperately trying wake him. I spotted a Vancouver Police patrol car parked nearby, and went over to tell the patrolmen about the situation. The cop I spoke to obviously couldn’t have cared less. “Well, what do you expect?” he said. “He’s just an Asian student.” With obvious reluctance, he slowly got out of his car and sauntered over to the student. I continued my walk, so I don’t know the outcome.

Bob

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musicman
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APS #213005
25 Jan 2020
08:42:45am
re: Crime in the city: An Omaha stamp dealer's lament.

I'll preface this story by saying - I am an avid collector of
US (Scott) #C11; the Beacon airmail stamp;

(Certainly not on the same level as the above stories, but here goes!)

Years ago, not long after our local stamp club started, we had a "show" to try to
attract new collectors/members to join the club.

I brought a Showgard cover album filled with 100 C11 covers along with other items
to display, as did other club members.

You guessed it - someone walked off with that cover album when no one was looking.

I was bummed of course, but what can you do....

I mentioned it at the time it occured back then, here on SOR;
Lo and behold, numerous members sent me C11 covers to help fill that void.

So again, let me thank those whose kindness will always be remembered.Wave


Another of the many reasons I love it here - the kindness, generosity and camaraderie
we all have experienced as members of this unique online club!

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philb
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25 Jan 2020
09:30:12am

Auctions
re: Crime in the city: An Omaha stamp dealer's lament.

Bobstamp,i have seen a different side of the Vancouver police. Back around the time of the millenium my wife and i visited her neice who worked in the flower auctions. She lived in the suburbs so we took the rails into the city. Some kind of disturbance took part between some teenage girls and someone in our car pushed a button. At the next stop two female police officers stepped on the car and you could hear a pin drop. I guess someone pointed a finger at the offenders and the situation was taken care of. We New Yorkers were quite impressed.

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"And every hair is measured like every grain of sand"
Snick1946
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APS Life Member
25 Jan 2020
04:26:34pm
re: Crime in the city: An Omaha stamp dealer's lament.

I came to Omaha as a college freshman in 1965. On weekends I would walk downtown to this store. The dealer was Carl (or Charles) Lam. He'd been in different locations but when I visited he'd been at that location for decades. I remember him giving me one of his pamphlets detailing how corrupt the Omaha PD was. I didn't know it at the time but the whole thing was sort of a joke in local stamp circles. He managed to get local TV to run a story on it. I don't know enough to pass judgement on what went down but his stolen stock was never recovered and he claimed that it appeared in the police auctions. I personally think he may have had early dementia but maybe it was all true.

I moved back to Omaha in about 1973 and there he was, still downtown but at a different address. It looked like he'd just picked up all the old boxes of stamps and put them down in the new place. There were signs all over 'Do not steal from these boxes. This means you.' Going through those boxes was a trip; I recall seeing covers from before WW One, from Austria-Hungry, addressed to him at a store address; this was almost sixty years later.

He died about 1978. His family consisted of one elderly sister who sold his stock for a pittance. I did hear that the Boston dealer, Jack Molesworth had a valuable consignment with him that she also sold. He took a big hit.

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Harvey
I think, therefore I am - I think!
25 Jan 2020
05:56:11pm
re: Crime in the city: An Omaha stamp dealer's lament.

My story is much lighter and I think I've told it at least once before, but it seems to fit here. My wife and I started our Canada collection in 1972 and picked up quite a bit of good stuff over the first 5 years. We were flying from Newfoundland to Edmonton in 1976 or 1977 and had the collection in a Harris album locked in one of our suit cases. When we picked up our luggage at the Edmonton airport that case had been forced open and the thief went through the book, went to the new stuff and stole what he could use as postage. He probably stole about $40 worth of stamps and left things like two beautifully centered MNH Bluenose and Parliament Buildings stamps that we had just purchased for a fairly hefty amount. THANK GOD FOR STUPID THIEVES! I've told this story many times and I always think that if he/she had taken the whole album it might have put me off stamp collecting for ever and you people would not have to put up with my stupid stories and comments!

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" I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.- G. Marx"
amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
25 Jan 2020
07:41:18pm

Auctions
re: Crime in the city: An Omaha stamp dealer's lament.

glad you're here to tell us your stories, Harvey. and if you told that one before, I must have missed it

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