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  1. #1

    Default Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches....

    Not sure if appropriate to post here, I will leave names out for now, but on Jan 9th I was burglarized of this year and lost a good number of pocket watches here in upstate NY. I received info from the local police department today that 50+ of my watches were located in Belleview, Washington at a well known watch repair shop who purchased them two days or so after they were stolen from the girlfriend of the suspect the police have in hand. The shop or owner says on their site they are a member of the NAWCC. Now the police say the only way to get my watches back from them (the shop) is to compensate them for their loss or fly out and give a deposition- neither of which I can afford to do?- I'm thinking their loss? I am the original victim here and sounds like I'm only getting victimized twice. The shop paid less than $50 a watch - many were high end and in gold filled cases. Is there any recourse through the NAWCC? - ethics/morals? business practices? Sorry if I posted this in wrong spot or its against the rules here, I am just getting frustrated. I am awaiting shop owners response via email to the situation.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches.... (By: kevinstang)

    It seems strange that the police in WA cannot confiscate and return your watches since they were stolen. I believe that's what pawn shops are required to do.
    Mort in York, PA

  3. #3
    Registered user. Marty W's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches.... (By: kevinstang)

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinstang View Post
    Now the police say the only way to get my watches back from them (the shop) is to compensate them for their loss or fly out and give a deposition- neither of which I can afford to do?-
    I suppose what the police want is proof that you are/were the owner of those watches and that is why they are asking for a deposition. I have never heard of the buyer of stolen merchandise having to be compensated for his loss.

    Just a thought: The buyer of your watches appears to have not been too interested in where these came from, especially with what he paid for them, be he a member or not.

    A buyer of any type of collectible should be able to ascertain the legitimacy of the seller by just asking a question or two. When I had my store in AZ and was buying jewelry, watches, gold, silver, etc., and I would get a suspicious seller in the store I could immediately find out if they knew anything about what they were trying to sell by asking a few questions. Flaky answers were shown the door post haste, just to CYA.

    You probably could get your local lawyer to make a contact out there and to have their local lawyer handle the paperwork proof for them.

    I am very sorry for your loss and for the fact that you have now been asked to become a victim for the second time, but that's the society we live in today.

    Please keep us posted on your problem......and best of luck.
    Love Many.......Trust Few, Always Paddle Your Own Canoe.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches.... (By: mldenison)

    Quote Originally Posted by mldenison View Post
    It seems strange that the police in WA cannot confiscate and return your watches since they were stolen. I believe that's what pawn shops are required to do.
    I am working on getting the list of the serial numbers today, sadly I didn't have all of them. I did have a couple of photos as well. Still waiting to hear from shop owner. The police out there did send pictures and info on watches to my local police but I am not sure if the shop owner has them or the police.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches.... (By: Marty W)

    I would telephone contact the business owner and explain all, then politely request that he doesn't dispose of any. It may well have been a manager or co-worker that made the purchase and without the owners knowledge. If he is a reputable businessman then I would hope that he would return them to you once you/he have established thru photo's/serial numbers that you are the rightful owner and would take care of all his losses.

    Here in the UK we have a saying that possession is 9/10 of the law BUT once it is established that you are in receipt of stolen goods then you forfeit them and all monies that you paid. I hope that you get a quick and satisfactory resolve to this!

  6. #6
    Registered user. Candew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches.... (By: Mark UK)

    I would think you could do a deposition where you live and not have to fly out there to do it. That would be where I would start if in fact the shop owner does not co operate.

    This is one of the reasons I have cataloged my collection with all the information on each watch including pictures.

    Good luck to you, I hope it all works out to the best.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches.... (By: kevinstang)

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinstang View Post
    The shop or owner says on their site they are a member of the NAWCC.
    Kevin, if that is true and you can produce solid evidence that even one of the watches bought by the shop was stolen from you, you may well have the basis of an Ethics Complaint to the NAWCC Ethics Committee. The powers of the NAWCC are limited, but they may have influence on the owner, and that may help to persuade him to return your property.

    If you arebunclear as to the procedure to be followed in making an Ethics complaint, you are welcome to PM me to ask for help.

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    Default Re: Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches.... (By: MartyR)

    Here in NY, pawn, jewelry and gold buying shops are required to report all incoming merchandise to the police and are not allowed to sell it for 30 days whil police check the records for stolen goods. This is what i was told by a local merchant who deals in coins, jewelry and other valuables.
    Hopefully that is the case in Wa.as well. At least you will have a chance to straighten this out before anything leaves his shop. I am sure that the shop owner will not be able to sell anything as long as there is an investigation pending on the watches. Best of luck recoverjng them.
    "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." - Ecc. 3:1

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    Default Re: Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches.... (By: Fitzclan)

    There is only ONE legal owner of stolen goods! In this case, YOU! Buyers of second hand goods run the risk of having stolen goods re-possessed. It's a cost of doing business! If your loss was reported to police in your area, and you have proven to them a/ you were the owner, and b/ the loss was investigated, it's a surprise to me the police in Washington haven't simply seized the items pending investigation! Can the police in your area help you with a resolution? The shop operator in NO WAY has recourse in this matter!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches.... (By: MartyR)

    Quote Originally Posted by MartyR View Post
    Kevin, if that is true and you can produce solid evidence that even one of the watches bought by the shop was stolen from you, you may well have the basis of an Ethics Complaint to the NAWCC Ethics Committee. The powers of the NAWCC are limited, but they may have influence on the owner, and that may help to persuade him to return your property.

    If you arebunclear as to the procedure to be followed in making an Ethics complaint, you are welcome to PM me to ask for help.

    Thank you Marty, I haven't heard from owner myself personally, still waiting- east / west coast time difference, they are apparently a well known watch repair shop as well and buyer. According to Sheriffs detective he was co-operative and the police were involved out there, but he was insisting I prove they were mine or I had to pay. The police here caught the burglar- he had stolen coins and a handgun of mine as well. The person who sold the watches to the shop was the guys girlfriend- she did it two days after the burglary. She was caught after she cashed check from the shop.

  11. #11
    Registered user. Fitzclan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches.... (By: kevinstang)

    If the police have apprehended both suspects they will sieze the goods if they haven't already and return them to you but don't expect them any time soon. Sounds like they already know who the rightful owner is.
    "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." - Ecc. 3:1

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    Registered user. Marty W's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches.... (By: kevinstang)

    Go back and read the initial post.

    This buyer was not a jewelry store or a buyer of collectibles...........he was a watch repair person, and if I am correct would not fall under the rules of making out reports to the PD or SO.

    I just have a feeling that this buyer knew just what he was doing to obtain all of these for less than $50.00 each.

    That 'buying from the girlfriend' also sounds fishy to the extent that this buyer knew just what was going on when he made buy.

    All he had to do is ask the girlfriend a few questions, like: Are any key wind? How do you set the time on this watch? What size is this watch? And that would clue him to whether the seller knew about what she was selling or just passing off stolen goods.

    Do you get my points? If I am wrong about my gut feeling in this matter I'll eat crow and apologize here every day for a week.
    Love Many.......Trust Few, Always Paddle Your Own Canoe.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches.... (By: Marty W)

    I will add the girlfriend apparently told the shop owner they were her grandfathers watches and she needed the money for her kids, the opening offer from the shop owner was 1500, she wanted $3000 and they settled on the $2000 for 56 watches. Somewhere along the way several watches disappeared from the box they were shipped in- so the store owner says he only now has like 52 of them left. All this was relayed to me by the local sheriffs detective. No word yet from shop owner, I might try calling him later tonight, so far he has not responded to emails.

  14. #14
    Registered user. Marty W's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches.... (By: kevinstang)

    Kevin:

    This is just my opinion based on similar situations that I have been in.

    I would not call the buyer. This now seems to be in the hands of law enforcement so let them do their job as best that they can. You'll get absolutely no satisfaction from the buyer.

    I'll state again that I believe that this buyer knew what he was doing, what he was buying, and from whom, and the situation concerning how she got those watches. From what I glean from this post is that the buyer may probably be an accessory to the transfer of stolen goods. I know, that's a very far out opinion, but let's see how this ends....and then I'll eat crow or I'll glow.

    Let the cops find the supposed grandfather.

    Where did she come up with a figure of $3000 for those watches but then settle for $2000?

    Somewhere along the way 4 watches vanished, if I read your post right......and I would bet you 100 dollars to a peanut that those were the best 4 watches in the lot.
    Love Many.......Trust Few, Always Paddle Your Own Canoe.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Some good and not so good news on my stolen pocket watches.... (By: kevinstang)

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinstang View Post
    Thank you Marty, I haven't heard from owner myself personally, still waiting- east / west coast time difference, they are apparently a well known watch repair shop as well and buyer. According to Sheriffs detective he was co-operative and the police were involved out there, but he was insisting I prove they were mine or I had to pay. The police here caught the burglar- he had stolen coins and a handgun of mine as well. The person who sold the watches to the shop was the guys girlfriend- she did it two days after the burglary. She was caught after she cashed check from the shop.
    I'm looking forward to hearing about this one on an episode of America's Dumbest Criminals any day now :-)

    Astonished to hear that the police have not already raided the buyer's premises and confiscated all the watches as evidence. (Over here the police can bust your door down to recover suspected stolen or fraudulently-purchased items irrespective of the circumstances in which you allegedly happened to receive them.)

    Slightly surprised that nobody has mentioned "insurance" yet.

    Totally confused as to what the "compensate them for their loss" bit is about... you don't owe them a penny. How bizarre. Let them launch proceedings against the "girlfriend" (or claim it on their insurance) if they want to try and get their money back.

    I'm sure Judge Judy would have sorted this all out in less time than it's taken me to type this post.

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