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$1 MILLION in Sports Cards Stolen - 5 Tips To Protect Yourself, Watch Before It's Too Late

February 18, 2022 7 min read

$1 MILLION in Sports Cards Stolen - 5 Tips To Protect Yourself, Watch Before It's Too Late

Today is not a fun topic to talk about, but it is a necessary one, and that is theft in the hobby. We've all heard about recent theft and break-ins, it seems like every week, a new collectors getting ripped off or stores getting broken into. With the explosion of the hobby and values going up, and I'm not just talking about cards, you know, autographs as well, stores and collectors are becoming targets.

Just recently, Nat Turner, one of the owners at PSA just had his card broken into overnight in a locked residential garage. If you want to take a guess what state that was in, California. California's just going south. I grew up there. I lived there for 25 years. It is so different now. It's really sad to see, but you got these cards stolen, over a million dollars of cards in his car that he left overnight. Now he admitted that was a stupid mistake for him to do that. So no point in roasting him, we've all done dumb stuff, maybe not to that extent, but, fortunately for him, they stole his iPad and laptop and the iPad apparently got turned on and it pinged a location to a local apartment complex.

Eventually the guy who stole these cards and all this iPad and computer and stuff, guess he went to a local Wendy's and turned the iPad back on again and I guess the cops were waiting there for him and they were able to recover every single card and all of his belongings. I mean, that is just amazing. Probably just about as amazing as he chose Wendy's as kind of his last resort meal. Like the last meal I'm going to eat before I go to jail is Wendy's like, bro, you gotta go to like In-N-Out or something like that, you got to get something nice. You know, you're going to feel good going into jail.

But so he got extremely lucky. Most stories obviously don't end up like that. Again, there's tons of other stories of card shops being broken into, FedEx packages are getting stolen on the way to PSA. A guy had five of his most important cards stolen and he was actually was able to get 2 back. Apparently somebody at FedEx had opened the package, taken these out, send it on to the PSA, and of course this happened in guess what, California. Apparently somebody had sold two of these cards and had heard about the story and so they had bought these cards from someone else and got the cards back to them and some crazy roundabout story.

So he got two of them back, luckily, but with all this craziness going on, you know, what can you as a collector do to protect yourself. So let's talk about five things that you must be doing. I say must because you gotta be doing the stuff.

Number one, insurance. I've talked about that on this show, numerous times. Hopefully all of you guys have insurance on all of your collectibles. If you don't have insurance right now, it's okay. Get it this week. Okay. It's cheap. It's not hard to get. It's very easy. It will not take you very much time. Imagine somebody steals all your collectibles and you don't have insurance. How would you feel at that point? You would feel like a dummy. Get the insurance. Be honest with your insurance person. Tell them what your plans are for the cards or for the autographs, whatever it is. Do you plan on taking them out of a vault? You keep them in a vault? Do you take them to shows? All that will play into what your policy will cost for you. If you have an issue where you say, "Hey, I went to a show and somebody stole my stuff," you can go back to your insurance policy see that your policy said you were going to take these to shows and all this kind of stuff. So if the stuff's going to be transferred around a lot, you've got to tell your insurance agent that.

So be honest with them. You must get insurance. It's a transfer of risk to someone else. Don't be the one that's holding the bag, right? Transfer that risk to someone else. Get insurance.

Number two, piggybacking off of number one, take inventory of what you have, make a detailed list of items and current values. Again, current values, you got to get an appraisal done. If you've got a decent collection. You've got a hundred thousand dollars, get an appraisal. Reason being is if you get that appraisal done in 2022, and it's got updated values for stuff, because you may have bought these things in 2012, and guess what values have probably gone up? Let's say you bought it for a thousand dollars, well, guess what, if you only updated your insurance in 2012, it says a thousand dollars on there, but it's worth $10,000 now, you're only getting a thousand bucks. So go update your values and items, make a detailed list.

Baseballintheattic.com, Michael does appraisals there. He does official appraisals. He does them for PSA. So if you want to get something official done that insurance companies will recognize not just looking at eBay comps. Get something official done. It won't take very long. Won't cost very much. Again, if you can't get your items back, cause someone's stolen from you, at least be able to attempt to replace them with the insurance money. You want to make sure that you have the insurance and an accurate inventory of what you have.

Number three. Where do you store your stuff? I'm assuming most of you probably keep it at your house. You need a safe at your house. If you've got a decent amount of collection, a legit safe, not something that you buy off of some internet crony. Get a legit safe, one that you can go see in person, check it out, make sure it fits all of your parameters. Make sure it's going to fit in your room. Get a legit safe that can store your stuff.

If you are displaying your items, which I'm assuming probably most of you do, you need to think about how you can secure it. Okay, camera's sensors, you gotta get a steel door, you gotta upgrade your locking system, whatever it is that you think is going to be beneficial to you in order to secure your collectibles. Now, if you aren't displaying your items, you should probably be considering storing them at a bank fault. The bank fault is going to be probably be one of the safest ways for you. It's also going to be one of the cheapest ways from an insurance perspective. It's very easy for an insurance company to say, "oh, you're keeping at the Bank of America vault? Piece of cake. We know how to ensure that, that's no problem" because they know there's probably not going to be any issues going on there. Again, you'll feel better knowing it's not at your house.

Guess what? You go on vacation for two weeks, you're not constantly worried about your vacation in your house. You knew all the stuff's down at the bank vault. You don't have to worry about it at all.

Number four, assume people are trying to steal your stuff. I know that sounds really radical, but you gotta assume if you're going to card shows or autograph shows, like I like to do, assume when you go there to bring your stuff to sell or trade, assume people are trying to steal your stuff. Just be on the lookout, have your head on a swivel. Be very conscious of your environment. Assume when you go to these, that people are going to try to take advantage of you. That's not always going to be the case. I'm not trying to scare you guys or make you not go to shows and all that kind of stuff, but you just gotta be prepared.

You need a safe way to carry your items in a bag that locks preferably, that has some sort of tracking device in it. Maybe like an air tag. Those are 30 bucks. Never let your bag off of you. You want to keep that on you. If someone is looking at your items that you're trying to buy, or you're trying to sell them or trade them or whatever you're doing, do one at a time. Show him one item and if not interested, fine, take it back, put it back in your bag. If they want to see another item, take it on out there. Don't get distracted. People are going to try to distract you by getting you all confused. Again, just take your time one item at a time.

We've all heard issues at recent card shows, and I'm going to say the Dallas card show, cause that's probably one of those popular ones, but they're not the only one by any stretch of the imagination. So again, there are bad people out there, duh. But especially with the hobby really exploding right now, we just gotta be careful when we go to shows, make sure that we're doing everything we can to protect ourselves.

Number five, please be careful what you post on social media. I know you may not think you're all that important, but people are watching stuff. People are watching social media, they're checking out hashtags. And if they see you post something expensive, like a new Michael Jordan PSA 10 for $300,000, you know, that's going to be a problem. I probably wouldn't post that. Don't tag your location. Don't tell people what you paid for it. You and your collection don't exist outside of your family members and a few trusted collectors. Okay, let me tell you that again, your collection doesn't exist online.

Don't be posting a bunch of crazy stuff. If you want to post, "Hey, I'm at the show here and I picked up this item or whatever," that's fine, but just be very, very cautious about what you post on social media. You may not think people are watching you, but again, You just never know in this new kind of world we're in with collections really taking off right now and I just want to make sure you guys protect yourself and do everything you can, make sure you sleep well at night and that you're doing everything you can to protect your collection.

So hopefully this helps you guys out there. Again, I'm not trying to scare you guys. The chances of someone stealing your collection are very, very slim, but again, let's take control of our lives. Let's take control of our collections and let's do everything we can on our end to protect ourselves.

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