Top 10 Items Thieves Are Looking For

Adding collectibles, valuables and family heirlooms to your home insurance policy could be more important now than it has been in the past.  Don’t assume that just because you have an insurance policy on your home that everything is automatically and fully covered.  A typical policy may fall short of what you need to fully cover your high valued possessions so you need to make sure that your policy is such that should anything be stolen, your policy allows for you to get paid the full value of what was taken.  But, a homeowners’ policy does not cover flood damage (you need a separate flood policy) and most likely does not protect against earthquakes and accidental damage. It is important to know the top 10 items thieves are looking for.

Some people may not feel as if they are at risk of being robbed, but if you have ever watched movies or television shows depicting thieves as interested in only cars and cold hard cash then Hollywood either chooses to not reflect reality or they are unaware of the new trend.  Many of the FBI’s files are filled with cases of people having reported stolen items such as militaria, moon rocks and stolen art collections so its important that you know the top 10 items thieves are looking for.

Earlier this year in March, a Manhattan man had charges filed against him by the FBI.  He allegedly planned and executed the removal of historical documents from multiple museums and then sold them to make a profit.  Unfortunately, he is not alone in his efforts.  The FBI says that burglary has become a huge problem.  In fact, there was an estimated $4.6 billion in stolen property in 2010 alone.

Much of what is being taken are stolen collectibles.  From the burglaries that are reported, almost 74% occur on residential properties.  The top items they look for include jewelry, collectibles, electronics, antiques, rare items, and art.

The list of the top 10 thieves look for.

1. Antiques: These make the top of the list because they can be very hard to trace yet easy to turn around and sell.  And, some thieves will go to great lengths.  One thief stole an antique weather vane, worth over $10,000, from a couple’s roof and left a tin reproduction in its place.

2. Sports Cards: Cards from baseball and football collections are targeted very much like antiques.  Cards that are hardest to sell without attracting attention are very rare cards owned by active collectors that attend shows and/or regularly communicate with other collectors.

3. Coin Collections: These are relatively easy to steal and can be easy to sell.  Part of their appeal is the rise in the price of gold and silver.  But, some won’t know the value of what they stole.  A collection worth several thousand dollars was stolen (most of it eventually returned to the owner) but the thieves put the coins into a coin counter and only got $450.

4. Crystal and Glass: This would include items like stained glass items, crystal goblets and depression glass.

5. Die-cast Models: There is a big market for model cars and thieves have been taking notice.

6. Dolls, Stuffed Animals and Doll Houses: It may sound surprising but something like a collection of Barbie dolls could be at risk.  One victim, a collector of 5,000 Barbies, had a value of $1,000,000 in 1992 when the collection was taken.  They were lucky and their collection was returned but that was maybe due to the large number of Barbies.

7. Entertainment, Media, Movie, and Record Collections: In March of this year, CBS had posters stolen from them and their declared value was $450,000.

8. Figurines: These can be pretty as well as valuable.  One woman was sentenced to a full year in jail for having stolen Steuben Crystal glass figurines from a local residence.  The value of the items was more than $15,000.

9. Guns and Fishing Gear: Thieves will go after guns.  One example is a dealer of firearms that was on his way home after a gun show.  He had more than $200,000 of merchandise in his truck which was stolen from him while he was inside a restaurant.

10. Military Gear and Historic Collections: Anything that has historic significance can be at risk.  One case is the 1997 theft of the Civil War flag from the Indiana War Memorial Museum.  It took ten years but the flag was eventually returned.  A dealer in antiquities happened to visit a liquidation sale, saw the $50,000 flag and notified the FBI.

It’s likely that a burglar may still take your car and/or any readily available cash but please be aware that they could be looking for more than just that.  Please call us at 305-270-2100 and speak with one of our underwriters to find out your options for protecting your high valued possessions.  When it comes to your valuables, it’s never too soon to make sure that you’re protected from a potential loss.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers.  Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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