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Current spate of mail thefts


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This was posted on Facebook, so I am posting it here for anyone affected or interested.
From my pov, this cannot be allowed to happen. If it were me, and I was approached with a ransom on my items, I would set them up and have them arrested..or maybe worse.
Also, ship your items with a hidden tracker. Get these guys, they need to go to jail.

 

Quote

Dear friends and Nihonto enthusiasts,

I write this post with a heavy heart, but also a sense of urgency, and an undying commitment to correct a wrong and protect this mad, beautiful obsession of ours. The reason for my anguish is that our hobby is under siege by a bunch of lowlifes of Olympic gold medal caliber who find it acceptable to steal other people’s property for their own financial gain.

Over the past year there have been a spate of thefts of swords and fittings from the U.S. Mail both going to and coming from Japan. Some of these where extremely valuable pieces on their way to shinsa; others were recently purchased swords and fittings whose arrival was greatly anticipated by their new owners. In each case, these packages went missing in the postal system on their way to or just having cleared U.S. customs. The value of goods that have been stolen from at least five collectors that I personally have been informed about is well over $200,000 and is likely several times that amount. The suspicion is that it is an inside job by postal workers or USPS contract employees who spot and pull the goods for outside fences.

Until now, the response of the police and U.S. Postal Inspectors has been conspicuous by its absolute lack of action or concern. This must change if we are to feel safe buying swords and fittings from Japan or sending our precious possessions back for appraisal, or a sayagaki, or even a trade. IF WE CAN’T TRUST THAT OUR PROPERTY IS SAFE TO SEND TO AND FROM JAPAN AND ELSEWHERE, THEN OUR HOBBY, AND THE VALUE OF OUR INVESTMENTS ARE IN SERIOUS DANGER OF DECLINE.

To fight back we have enlisted the help of a U.S. Senator and member of the U.S. House – one on each side of isle. But we need to help them pressure the U.S. Postal Inspectors to do their job and hunt down these thieves. Please write your own members of Congress about your concern over these thefts and ask them to demand the USPS to crack down on post office corruption. The more pressure we put on our representatives, the more likely are they to get law enforcement to act.

Also please share here any stories of theft that you may have experienced. The more we can document these loses and how they play out, the better chance we have of unmasking these rings. Feel free to post your experiences here, or if you wish discretion, then direct message me. I am currently working with two victims to try to put a stop to this. Please join me.

One important note; if you were a victim of this crime, and the thieves contacted you to get you to ransom your own goods, I can’t tell you what to do. Often sword ownership has very little to do with financial value, and the emotional connection to a particular piece can be far more expensive than the actual price tag. I get this, and I understand why some might feel that the Holy Grail tsuba they hunted down is worth the price. But before you agree to part with more money, please consider that if we payoff these thugs we are only encouraging them to steal more, to create another victim. Not paying and screaming about this loudly forces them to hunt for a place to get rid of these blades in an aware market which in turn could help us in closing them down. Lastly, if you are offered a piece that you suspect is stolen and you buy it and don’t scream bloody murder, then you are part of the problem and have no place in this community. Please help us do the right thing to stop this worrying threat to our hobby.

Best,

Jordi Rosen

 

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Its my impression that the mail is not the issue.

The issue is customs.

They figured out that as long as they type in that the item was cleared by the customs, they are untouchable - the mail services have no right to investigate them and "conventional police" does not deal with mail thefts.

They also butcher a lot of packages i.e. cleave off the front side altogether, with the address and everything. A lot of losses are not theft but just brutal handling by customs. The mail which is then as we recently sow is sold off by lost and found facilities.

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I agree with @Rivkin

 

As I have an extended international export experience I firmly believe that the only way this will get serious attention is if reputable representatives of the Nihonto community go in front of the media and raise awareness. Nothing else would work regarding USPS or the DHS. Almost impossible to sue them (better not go against them). The mandatory insurance should always be there and a portable tracking device is definitely a great suggestion. 

 

Cheers

 

J&U

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  • 3 weeks later...

Anything entering the US through New Jersey (East Coast) customs. From Europe or Japan. Customs marks the item as released, but it never gets back to the carrier (USPS, UPS, Fedex etc.). Sometimes they don't steal the item, but instead butcher the box to the point that the postal service itself throws it out. USPS has the right to assume ownership of any package at which point it pays out the insurance and legally you no longer own the item.

 

Its gone bad to the point no package from Europe is safe (most used to go through the East Coast) and packages from Japan are best send to the West Coast address. The rate of loss is staggering.

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  • 7 months later...

Missing presumed stolen -

 

Kanzan To-Ken Koza six volumes - sent from Kamakura Japan arrived in New Jersey in February - tracking says that Customs has them, Customs says USPS has them - no luck with missing item report - the Postal Inspection service or insurance claim (thus far) - If you encounter a set of these books fresh from Japan they could be stolen goods.

 

Posted in vain hope they will re-appear...

 

-t

IMG_6873_0-150x150.jpg

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I'm guessing seriously misplaced by them. Not like Japanese books are hot property or able to be fenced off easily.
I guess maybe they steal boxes and then find out later what is in them. Or they just have rooms filled with misplaced boxes. Hope you locate them. I'm going to be sending any serious parcels with an Apple Airtag in future.

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This is a wide spread issue. Customs does do it's share of theft, butchering or whatever else leads to the item never reaching it's destination.

 

I lost two items coming through customs in Trenton, NJ. A kozuka from Germany, and a ubu Kikuchi Yari from Japan. With the Yari, I was finally able to speak to someone at the facility and they opened an investigation. In a mere Two days they sent me an email stating that after an extensive investigation (2 freaking days) they determined the item had never been there.  Yet Japan tracking clearly documented it's arrival to NJ. The kozuka was insured, the guy who sent the yari did not insure it, total loss.

 

USPS is just as bad. I shipped a sword to MS and it was routed through the huge hub in Memphis where it disappeared. The buyer lives nearby and went to the facility where he showed an employee a photo of the sword. She admitted to seeing the sword. She said it had come out of the box and therefore was sent to Atlanta to the "dead mail center". Buyers father is a prominent attorney in Memphis who contacted his friend the senator.  Once they became involved, the sword miraculously turned up in Memphis, not Atlanta. The lying bitch at the PO is probably the one who stole it, she damn sure didn't send it to Atlanta.  Box was crushed, sword completely undamaged.

 

I have friends who have lost things, high end things coming through customs and San Francisco as well.

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  • 6 months later...

Tragic that we cannot always trust the postal service these days. Fortunately, even though the items that I buy are cheaper items, I have never had a parcel go missing. Though a bayonet once took over six weeks to come from Ireland. I have had items sent to the wrong country (That was New Yorks postal service, both times !), but everything has eventually turned up, if at times a bit late.

I cannot imagine the pain of a prized katana or tachi going missing!:sad:

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