Home NEWS Police/Fire Walnut Creek Stamp Dealer Loses High-Priced U.S., British Pieces To Thieves

Walnut Creek Stamp Dealer Loses High-Priced U.S., British Pieces To Thieves

The famed "Penny Black" in a block of six. Photo: WikiPedia

A Walnut Creek stamp dealer is alerting local philatelists to be on the lookout for some pricey sheaves of stamps taken from his N. Main Street store on November 5.

Dealer Merle Spencer reported the theft to Walnut Creek police, who determined it occurred at the store sometime between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. p.m.

Spencer said thieves made off with three of his most expensive plastic binders of his material. Each of the three binders was about one inch thick and included 20-23 Hagner, or collectors, pages.

Spencer reported that the most valuable volume, approximately $150,000, consisted of United States stamps while the second volume contained material from Great Britain beginning with the 1840 Penny Black. A third volume was his second volume of British Commonwealth material covering Hong Kong to Z.

Alerts and descriptions of the stolen stamps have been sent to local dealers and distributed through a national network of collectors and the American Philatelic Society.

The APS asks that anyone encountering this material contact their own local police department or the Walnut Creek Police Department at 925-943-5844.


  1. What a shame. There are too many thefts going on in this state – smash and grab, package, home invasion, auto, etc. When are the politicians going to do something about this. Too many recent laws seem to make theft more acceptable. It is making California less of a good place yo live.

    • As collectors (though not philatelists) we can appreciate how deeply such a loss might be felt. Hopefully, someone will recognize them for what they are and return them soon.

  2. I’m on the east coast, but I’ll still keep an eye out for something fishy. As Henry commented, they apparently knew what to take so I’d expect it will be broken down and sold individually. Too bad there isn’t a better description of the material stolen. One of our local stamp club members had his material stolen many, many years ago. When he saw one dealer selling some of it, he confronted him. That dealer brushed it off. It was then that our club member stopped collecting stamps. I think it’s very important to advertise those distinguished pieces so that the entire collecting community can watch for them. But this was a dealer and they often don’t have the time, and their stock is often rotating frequently.

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