Sunday, August 12, 2012

Reno 2012 Expo

I think this is a very timely update written by the FOHBC's Pam Selenak and I hope the bottle community can work together to help control this spreading trend -  I was present at the end of the show when a possible thief was stopped and confronted by one of our western dealers. After a search of the suspects table and area supposedly a loaded pistol was found in a soft drink cooler.  A loaded pistol at a bottle show? I didn't think we were yet to the point where we have to carry weapons at bottle shows - It is my understanding that at the present time nothing productive has come from the confrontation or the Grand Sierra Hotel Security Team -rs


By Pam Selenak | FOHBC Public Relations Director

As great of a show as the Reno Expo was, it did not go without a blemish. The bottle collecting community as a whole is an honest and trustworthy group of people. We have in the past, been able to leave our sales tables and do a little shopping or chat with someone for a while and know that our items will still be there when we get back. Unfortunately those days are gone. Even if 99.9% of us are in this group of upstanding citizens there is that 0.1% that ruins it for everybody. I can’t stress this enough DO NOT LEAVE YOUR TABLES UNATTENDED.
At Reno, there were one or more persons casing the show for opportunities to steal. Here is the list of some of the stolen bottles:
Green, John Moffat’s Phoenix Bitters
Green, “Old Castle Flask” with repaired neck
Warner’s Safe Tonic Bitters” amber pint
8 1/2, in deep aqua, A.M. Cole Virginia City
7″ aqua, 4 indented paneled medicine, “Dr. Mintie’s” on one side, front panel “Nephreticum”, “San Francisco” on other side
Sharp & Dohme KU-19 poison, 4″ tall cobalt, front paneled: skull & crossbones with star above and below, with the word POISON down both sides; rounded back with original label
To the person or persons who have in their possession any or all of these items take note.
1) There were thousands of pictures as well as time lapsed photos (every ten seconds) taken during the three days of the show. We are presently going over each and every frame to find you.
2) You have committed grand theft.
3) If you try to sell or show these bottles you will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Is it worth you losing your lively hood, family, and the quality of the remainder of your life? A full police report has been filed. This information is also being sent out by magazines, websites, and club newsletters. You have angered the bottle community and we WILL be looking for these bottles. This activity will not be tolerated. YOU WILL BE FOUND!
To any bottle collector who sells on eBay, please note in your narrative of this and that if anyone sees or hears of any of these types of bottles to contact the Federation immediately. Know who you are buying from and only buy from reputable dealers!
So, PLEASE,keep an eye on your tables at shows. These people are out there and they know what they are doing.
[FOHBC] A few comments from our members…

there was the one burr under the saddle that continues to plague every show these days, no matter how much security is present or no matter how vigilant the dealers are; THEFT. I’ve got my own feelings on the matter and personally think that the “code of the west” oughta still be enforced. The heck with “politically correct.” I guess that just don’t cut it in the 21st century. It oughta… And yet, with the quantity of killer glass present, coupled with the sheer volume of folks packing the aisles, it could have been a heckuva lot worse. Still, one theft is one too many!

Bruce Silva (Jacksonville, Oregon)

“Any bottle thieves should be entered into a real Shoot-out where they can be pelted with crock beers & broken shards of glass. Overall, best show I have ever been to! Not sure if it will ever be duplicated!”

Lance Westfall (San Diego, California)

“I hope everyone enjoyed the show and found something nice to take home with them. We started this Expo almost 2 years ago when Richard Siri was the president of the FOHBC. We talked and he asked what I thought about hosting another big show in Reno; well, I couldn’t say no. We worked countless hours to make this show run smoothly and to make it an unforgettable show for you. If there was one thing I could change, I would have added more security. Every year western shows have theft including Las Vegas, Auburn and Reno. I think we had multiple people working the show, and this totally bummed me out. I apologize to those who lost bottles. It’s sad to think we have entered a new era that requires keeping your bottles behind a locked case. I hope you had fun and enjoyed Reno. Support your local clubs and the FOHBC!”

Marty Hall – Show Chairman (Reno, Nevada)

This World has changed, the bottle hobby has now been changed and I look forward to help and guidance that the FOHBC might come up with to help us all.”

James Campiglia (Bozeman, Montana)


  1. A loaded gun in a cooler and no one questioned that?

  2. I know Nevada has lenient concealed weapons laws and it's fairly easy to obtain a permit. But was the suspect a Nevada resident? More info needs to be made public to clear this up for a lot of us, otherwise I can see some real issues arising if this individual is present at future shows. I’d like to feel a little more comfortable knowing some nutcase won’t be toting a loaded weapon in an ice chest into the next Downieville or Auburn Show…if you know what I mean. Thievery is one thing, but this is getting to be some serious s**t!

    1. Firearms are not allowed at the Downieville Show. I will enforce this rule.
      I feel sorry for anyone that gets caught stealing at Downieville. We treat bottle thieves just like horse thieves up here in the mountains.

      I am starting to think whoever is responsible for all of these thefts are doing this as a very risky thrill. Where the heck do you get rid of these very recognizable bottles? Sell them on ebay? Sell them off to other questionable collectors? Start amassing a closet collection like rare stolen paintings?

      If you are thinking of coming to Downieville and loading up on bottles without paying….BEWARE…We’re waiting for you!
      Rick Simi

    2. I think a gallows would look most appropriate adjacent to the Simi Saloon. A few of us will arrive early to construct one. Anyone good at fashioning a rope noose?

  3. The weapon was not brought to our attention until days after the show. Trust me, we are looking into this so it doesn't happen again.

  4. A concealed weapon in a bottle show, huhhhh? If a suspected thief had such a thing and didn't have a permit I don't think you need to look any further for your guy.