During the 2022 Tucson Shows, the theft of two Spinosaurus claws came to our attention. We immediately notified our membership and others through email and social media. Because of the communications, the thief was caught in just a couple of days, attempting to sell them at another show to one of the AAPS members. The thief was arrested, and one of the claws recovered.
We immediately realized the potential of creating Fossil Theft Alerts and sending them out to the membership and others that signed up for our newsletter.
To better prepare for any potential specimen theft during any trade show, we propose the following:
1. After setting up for a show, please photograph your specimen layout for your room and outside tables. Use a Photo Scale in any valuable specimen photo and keep the images until after the show ends in case an item comes up missing.
2. Place signs at your booth/room that the room is under video surveillance as a deterrent.
3. If you discover something has been taken, put together photos and a description and call the local police first (911). Then contact me by phone (435-744-3428) and follow up with an email (email@example.com) including details and photographs.
Working together, we may be able to help with recovery, especially if the thief attempts to sell the stolen items. Past Fossil Theft Alerts are listed below as a reference for our members, researchers and all fossil collectors.
June 2023 Multible Specimens, reported by David Guery, GeoFossils, LLC.
May 2023 Multible Specimens, reported by Joshua Slattery
February 2023 Spinosaurus Claw, reported by Kendal Martyn, Moussa/Geosource LLC
February 2023, Custom Knife, reported by Loren Feldman, Feldman Custom Knives
February 2023, Arceocete Tooth Collection reported by Dr. Jay Goldberg RELICS 2
November 2022, Multible specimens reported by Gary Olson