7 Ways to Arm Yourself Against Theft of Your Treasured Art or Jewelry

7 Ways to Arm Yourself Against Theft of Your Treasured Art or Jewelry

Wondering how to protect valuables from would-be thieves and robbers? Trade in stolen art and jewelry is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide, so it makes sense to take steps to protect your assets. Here at Lauth Investigations International, we are dedicated not only to tracking and recovering stolen precious goods, but also advising diligent owners on how to protect valuables against external threats in the first place. Read on to discover our top tips for keeping the thieves away from your door. 

1. Identify the High Value Items That You Need to Protect

Far too many owners of heirloom artworks, jewelry, and other high value assets don’t recognize the desirability of their treasures until they’ve been taken. Stay ahead of those who might target you with awareness of what needs to be safeguarded. Precious items might include paintings, sculptures, jewelry, watches, rugs, silverware, instruments, antique china or crystal, furs, firearms, and other collectibles. Knowing how to protect valuables starts with knowing where and what they are, and how much they are worth.

2. Review and Update Your Insurance Coverage

High-value items require specific insurance coverage that will likely exceed the limits of your homeowner insurance policy. Ahead of purchasing scheduled personal property coverage, we recommend meeting with your insurance advisor directly to identify policy vulnerabilities. Keep in mind that the value of assets like art and jewelry can go up and down over time. This makes it essential to track market values or have your items reappraised periodically to ensure that your policies always represent their true value.

3. Document Your Art and Jewelry

When a precious item is stolen, time is of the essence and having all the information on hand is vital if pursuit of the perpetrators is to be successful. Take detailed photos of your valuables, and detail all identifying features. Scan all documentation, including purchase receipts, provenance paperwork, and appraisals. Securely store the originals separately from the items themselves, and the digital versions using a cloud-based service. You can also consider using a purpose-built database to catalog your collection, like interpol’s Art-ID app.

4. Install Sophisticated Security Systems

When it comes to how to protect valuables, it’s key to understand that they are only as secure as the location where they are stored. High-value jewelry is far more vulnerable in a jewelry box or nightstand than it would be in a safe or safe deposit box. Equally, art work on the wall of a home with a state-of-the-art intruder alert system and CCTV cameras will be far safer than that in a home that would be easy to enter undetected. Artworks themselves can be fitted with alarms, too. Your insurance company may reduce your rate in reflection of this added protection.

5. Use Tracking Technology

While art collectors have long been concealing identifying markers on their most precious assets, these days the advent of miniature technology means that we can go further. Paintings, sculptures, and even jewelry cases can be fitted with tiny GPS tracking devices with batteries that last for years. These diminutive gadgets mean that if your art or jewelry goes astray, it won’t get far.

6. Perform Background Checks

How well do you really know your staff? From housekeepers to contractors, those we trust to enter our homes don’t always have the best intentions. On how to protect valuables, one of the most powerful tactics that we recommend is to subject every hire to our comprehensive background check service. This will illuminate anything nefarious in their past that might make you think twice about letting them near your beloved valuables.

7. Seek Tailored Advice Through a Risk and Security Assessment

You hope you’ve thought of everything to thwart potential thieves, but there may still be holes in your well-intended defenses. Our dedicated team of art and jewelry theft investigators are expertly poised to analyze your security measures and identify gaps that need to be closed. For total peace of mind, turn to Lauth Investigations International for guidance on how to protect valuables from every angle. Our team is always here to help, and only a call or message away.

ID-Art and INTERPOL: The Latest Tech and App to Thwart Art or Jewelry Theft

ID-Art and INTERPOL: The Latest Tech and App to Thwart Art or Jewelry Theft

As licenced private investigators specializing in jewelry and art theft investigations, we witness the fallout of jewelry and art theft first hand and all too often. Whether stolen from a private home or public setting, these types of precious assets often represent immense historic value, sentiment, and uniqueness that makes no dollar amount a satisfying substitute, making the crime one that cuts deep for targeted owners.

Framed by this reality, the unveiling of a brand new app from INTERPOL marks a positive step towards reducing the skyrocketing rates of both jewelry theft and art theft across the United States and around the globe. Let’s take a look at exactly what this cutting-edge technology has to offer concerned collectors everywhere.

  1. Direct Access to INTERPOL’s Stolen Works of Art Database

INTERPOL’s Stolen Works of Art Database promises to change the game for those aiming to thwart criminals intent on art theft and jewelry theft. It does so by cataloging essential information for the identification of valued items, aiding in their identification and location. At time of writing, the database has already amassed data on more than 52,000 objects from 134 member countries—all in the name of mounting a combined response to safeguarding our common heritage.

This impressive resource has been designed for use by police officers, custom officials, the general public, private collectors, art dealers, journalists, students, and art enthusiasts. However, the innovation of this project lies not in the simple documentation of stolen valuables, but in a far more comprehensive range of functions. The key to unlocking this crime fighting potential comes with use of their groundbreaking ap, ID-Art.

  1. Stamping Out Jewelry Theft and Art Theft with ID-Art

The free-to-use ID-Art mobile app not only allows users to check if an object is registered as stolen, but also to create and inventory their own art collections and report site thefts and threats in real time. Missing objects can be searched manually or visually, using diverse search parameters such as object type, medium, production technique, artist’s name, or country of provenance. These metrics are streamlined by INTERPOL’s standardized ‘Object-ID’ format. 

Alternatively, users can upload an image of the asset in question to perform a visual search using ID-Art’s cutting-edge image recognition software. This attention to details means that those cataloging their collections on the app can enjoy peace of mind that the data is in place to make it difficult for criminals to move their most beloved property in the event of jewelry or art theft. This, in turn, will help to reduce illicit trafficking and deter would-be criminals from targeting one-of-a-kind objects in the first place.

  1. Going Further to Prevent Art and Jewelry Theft

Seeking adequate insurance and cataloging your valuables can go a long way in the event of a theft, but what about prevention? Private investigators from Lauth Investigations International frequently turn their expertize in analyzing crime scenes to the art of security and risk assessment. If you are concerned that you may be vulnerable to art or jewelry theft, we can deliver a comprehensive assessment and tailored advice on the steps that you can take to ensure the safety of your prized valuables.
Should the worst have occurred and your items are missing, our veteran private investigators are ready to jump out into the field and unearth their trail, in hot pursuit of recovery. No matter your art and jewelry related security concerns, the Lauth Investigations team is ready to provide essential support. Contact us to learn more, and download INTERPOLS ID-Art app free of charge for Apple and Android mobile devices, to add vital layers of protection in the safeguarding of your assets.

Looking to Buy Beautiful Art and Jewelry? First Avoid These 3 Well Known Scams

Looking to Buy Beautiful Art and Jewelry? First Avoid These 3 Well Known Scams

There’s a thrill in tracking down a unique treasure or acquiring artwork that will become a family heirloom, but contemporary buyers should beware. These days, art scams and jewelry scams are rife. If you think it couldn’t happen to you and don’t take the time to learn the facts, there’s a good chance your collecting efforts might go awry.

Do you think you could spot a fake or sniff a scam artist coming? Top art aficionados thought they had struck gold when Glafira Rosales began selling previously unknown works by painters such as Rothko, Pollock, and de Kooning to New York collectors. Later, it came out that every single one of the multi-million dollar paintings was a fake created by her accomplice, Chinese forger Pei-Shen Qian. 

If Rosales and Qian were audacious enough to fool the New York art scene elite, you can bet that there are plenty of bad actors out there ready to roll out art scams and jewelry scams on a smaller scale with a big smile on their faces. Of course, this is no reason to avoid investing in spectacular art and exciting jewelry finds. Read on to discover what to look out for in order to protect yourself.

  1. The Power of the Provenance

The provenance of a precious item describes its chain of custody—from the artist or jewelers studio to the seller presenting the piece today. This crucial paper trail doesn’t only exist for high-profile artworks in the world’s most famous museums, but also valuable treasures making their way through the hands of private collectors.

Within the worlds of art scams and jewelry scams, the term “newly discovered” denotes the forgers playground. Whenever a prized piece of reportedly noble origin appears without any provenance, it’s crucial to approach it with caution, no matter how romantic a tale is told. At the very least, a reputable appraiser, independent of the seller, should be brought in to size up your prize.

Of course, a phony provenance can also provide opportunity for sellers to overinflate value. When an item is described as having belonged to celebrity, royalty, or other persons of great importance, it can make an otherwise un-noteworthy item appear far more desirable than it should. Provenance should always be scrutinized to avoid disappointment.

  1. Online Art and Jewelry Scams

The rise of online art and jewelry sales provides the perfect opportunity for scam artists to peddle their wares without direct physical scrutiny. Buyers can receive fake imitation goods, or nothing at all as the perpetrators digitally disappear without a trace. In order to avoid this perilous pitfall, steer clear of buying art and jewelry that is priced below retail value—if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

Watch out for blurry images that may mask low quality items or poorly imitated brush strokes. Confirm quality guarantees, seller location, and returns policy—and in the name of avoiding jewelry scams, confirm that the total carat weight, gemstone quality, and setting style all match up. Finally, make provenance checks, just as you would when buying in person.

  1. Sellers Avoiding Scrutiny Or a Paper Trail Are a Red Flag

Those selling authentic goods should have no concerns over making your transaction official. If a local seller seeks payment by money order or in cash, it’s time to raise the alarm—particularly ahead of a meeting in person, as this interaction may never happen if they intend to make off with your cash without providing what was promised.

Not only antique and vintage items, but new precious jewelry creations should have accessible proof of provenance for you to scrutinize. Contemporary tech is increasingly allowing buyers to protect themselves, as gemstones and precious metals are documented via blockchain so their history cannot be altered. The temptation to take the plunge on a desirable item can be great when it seems as if you’ve found something extraordinary, but it is better to save money and heart break, approaching every purchase with a focused and suspicious eye.
Do you suspect you are a victim of an art scam or jewelry scam? If so, Lauth Investigations International can help. With extensive experience within the realms of art and jewelry theft and tracking the perpetrators of fraud and forgery, we have just the skillset required to find those responsible and ensure justice on your behalf. To learn more, reach out to our team today for a no-commitment consultation.

Knowing Where to Turn When Your Art or Jewelry Gets Stolen

Knowing Where to Turn When Your Art or Jewelry Gets Stolen

Anyone who has ever fallen victim to art or jewelry theft understands the unique brutality of this crime. While such precious treasures may represent a substantial financial investment, they are also often of great sentimental value—inflicting double the wound when they vanish without a trace. 

And how common is jewelry theft, you may wonder? Well, the latest jewelry theft statistics paint a grim picture. According to the FBI, more than $100 million worth of jewelry is stolen each year in the USA. Meanwhile, art theft poses enough of a problem that the FBI has a dedicated Art Crime Team. No doubt, the threat is real to all who act as guardians for prized examples of human creativity—whether what menaces is gallery or jewelry store theft, or the violation of a business premises or private residence.

  1. How Often Is Stolen Jewelry Recovered?

In a jewelry theft investigation, the results can be sort of a mixed bag. Because of the one-of-a-kind nature of many stolen jewelry or art items, when the worst occurs, art or jewelry theft insurance offers little peace of mind. Owners want their beloved pieces back, but sadly the odds are rarely in their favor. Art and jewelry theft stats vary, but together paint a clear picture that the vast majority of precious items are never reunited with their owners. 

This is in part because law enforcement agencies operating with overstretched resources often have little choice but to prioritize violent crimes. Investigations of stolen jewelry, art, electronics, and other personal valuables sit on the to-do list, or face delays due to bureaucracy or a shifting chain of command. Of course, reporting art and jewelry theft through traditional channels is essential and may result in the victim’s favor. However many individuals or businesses who have suffered such a loss will be relieved to know that there are other avenues to explore when seeking the return of prized possessions.

  1. Turning To a Specialized Art and Jewelry Theft Private Investigator

When police progress seems to have ground to a halt or one feels that precious time is being wasted, there is another form of art or jewelry theft investigation at your disposal. Uniquely, specialized private investigators are able to pour their complete attention into putting the puzzle pieces together until a clear picture emerges. They also operate independently, objectively, and efficiently on behalf of their clients, while drawing upon a wide variety of resources.

Typically, this type of private investigator will have a background either directly in law enforcement, or in working alongside such agencies. As such, they will be able to offer a skill set that includes the capacity to profile subjects, canvass for witnesses, and apply forensic methodology to both the crime scene and chain of events. 

For example, by seeking out CCTV footage not only from the theft site but also the wider surrounding area, they will diligently strive to map the criminal’s movements. Meanwhile a jewelry theft investigator may turn to an online jewelry database in their search of clues and monitor online transactions in order to trace the stolen jewelry in question. In fact, licenced private investigators can access many of the same law enforcement databases that a police investigator would. 

Ultimately, whatever stone must be turned to find answers, a jewelry theft private investigator will do so meticulously—identifying the most efficient next step at each case evolution, and documenting evidence as it arises. Because their loyalty is to you as their client, you can also be assured of oversight and control. 
If you are ready to enlist the assistance of a private investigator after falling prey to the perpetrators of art or jewelry theft, Lauth Investigations International is ever-ready to assist. Our dedicated, seasoned, and highly professional team offer expertize in swiftly locating and returning missing assets. To learn more about our methodology and how to set sleuthing in motion, get in touch today.

Find Stolen Property with a Private Investigator

Find Stolen Property with a Private Investigator

find stolen property

Do you need help with a theft investigation to find stolen property? Closure may be closer than you think.

Property theft can happen anywhere, but when it rises to the level of grand larceny, an investment in its return may be prudent. Of course every jurisdiction has its own unit dedicated to property theft—but not every unit has the resources or the manpower in order to handle the demands property theft poses in a certain jurisdiction. Not to mention that the nature of stolen property cases always presents unique challenges in tracking both the perpetrator and the property itself as it changes hands. As such, many victims of grand larceny and other forms of theft have trouble recovering their property through bureaucratic channels. When these challenges arise, victims may feel the need to get a second opinion.

Hiring a private investigator to find stolen property is a way to bring new professional perspective to your case. Private investigators and law enforcement use many of the same tools in their investigative toolbox. Many private investigators are former law enforcement officers who apply their professional knowledge to the private sector—only private investigators have a slight edge. Law enforcement officers can handle between 30-40 cases at any give time, which makes it difficult to give each case the attention it deserves. However, private investigators typically handle between 4-5 cases at a time, leaving a lot more time for due-diligence and field investigations. There is a great deal of canvassing involved with a theft investigation, including neighboring businesses and private residences, and local pawn shops in order to track the stolen property. Investigators cannot possibly hope to do that for every case when they are handling an excess of 30 cases at once. This means that crucial witnesses and evidence can be lost, leading to significant stagnation in case progression.

Another benefit to hiring a private investigator to find stolen property is their lack of jurisdiction. Because they have no powers of arrest, it can be easier to get relevant subjects and witnesses to be forthcoming in the investigation and result in additional leads. Once the property is located, private investigators can serve as a middle-man. Without powers of arrest, private investigators can facilitate the successful return of the property. Many subjects are willing to return the property in order to avoid the police.

At the conclusion of the case, private investigators provide clients with comprehensive reports and context to ensure the client understands the outcome. Private investigators may also be inclined to offer professional advice so the client can prevent future thefts. This doesn’t just go for personal property, but corporate property as well. Things like fixtures, equipment, and product are all targets of theft, and each one deserves the specialized approach that a private investigator can bring.

If you need a private investigator to find stolen property, call Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote and hear about how we can help. We are staffed by former military and law enforcement personnel, and carry a glowing A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 317-951-1100 today or visit us online at www.lauthinveststg.wpengine.com.