Valuable stamp stolen from VGG shipment

A mint 10-cent magenta “Small Queen” stamp (Scott #40a) issued in 1880 and catalogued at $7,000 has been stolen from a FedEx shipment mailed out of Toronto’s Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation.

The theft occurred between Feb. 23 and March 1 while the stamp was in the custody of FedEx in the southeastern United States.

The Greene Foundation certified the stamp as genuine (certificate number “G 29355”) on Feb. 16, and the FedEx package was processed in Toronto on Feb. 23 before starting its journey to the Florida office of Canadian dealer Roy Houtby, the owner of Roy’s Stamps.

Houtby, whose main office is in St. Catharines, Ont., said someone opened the FedEx package in transit and removed the stamp from a cardboard insert. The package was then resealed and delivered to him on March 1 in Titusville, Fla. All other documentation, including the Greene Foundation certificate and letter, an earlier certificate from the Canadian Philatelic Expertizing Service plus shipping documents from FedEx, was received by Houtby, who described the missing stamp as a valuable never-hinged example in Extremely Fine condition.

The theft has been reported to the Greene Foundation, the stamp owner’s insurance company and FedEx, whose case file is “C-58471285.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Houtby at 905-934-8377 or 905-988-8001 or Greene Foundation executive assistant Lee Ann Stewart at 416-921-2073.

It’s the second major stamp theft involving a FedEx shipment from the Greene Foundation to the southeastern United States in the past two years.

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