$1m worth of U.S. stamps reported stolen near Las Vegas

“Very devastating. Heartbreaking. Violating. Those are some of the words that come to mind.”

This from David Cobb, a prominent dealer of U.S. stamps and owner of Southern California’s Newport Harbor Stamp Co., who recently reported $1 million worth of U.S. stamps stolen after a show in Las Vegas, N.V.

On Dec. 10, after leaving a stamp and coin show in Las Vegas, Cobb stopped for dinner in nearby Henderson, N.V., on his way home to Newport Beach, Calif.

“Between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., our car was burglarized, and we discovered that our windows had been smashed in and my main suitcase was taken. The contents of the main suitcase was approximately 95 per cent of my high end inventory. I would estimate the approximate value of what is missing is in the low seven figures,” said Cobb, following the incident.

“The robbers did leave my briefcase behind with some better items in it, attached are some photos of items that I still have,” added Cobb. “This is the type of labeling that will be on many of the stolen items.”

Cobb also said there were about 12 counter books, beginning with U.S. Scott #1-600, as well as “back of the book” issues, including newspaper stamps, revenues, and ducks.

Another piece of Cobb’s inventory that wasn’t stolen shows his writing style and colourful labelling.

“There is a larger counter book with certified, graded stamps and a book labeled ‘Orange and Yellow’ stamps,” said Cobb. “In front zipper compartment of the suitcase are certificates on many of my displayed items.”

With 95 per cent of his high-end inventory missing, business is “greatly affected,” he added

“Fortunately, the next stamp show isn’t until about the second week of January, so maybe something will develop or surface between now and then.”

Luckily for Cobb, it’s unlikely the thief will succeed in easily selling this one-of-a-kind material.

Police have been notified, and an investigation is ongoing.


Cobb has been buying and selling stamps for more than 30 years. What began as a part-time operation in 1982 became a full-time business by the end of the decade. Since then, he has chosen to specialize in classic U.S. stamps, plate blocks and other related items.

He regularly attends shows across the U.S., including this summer’s once-in-a-decade World Stamp Show in New York City, and remains one of the country’s most active sellers and buyers. Always on the lookout for U.S. stamp collections, Cobb offers free appraisals at all of the shows he attends.

He’s a member of the American Philatelic Society, the American Stamp Dealers Association and the National Stamp Dealers’ Association.

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