Burglarized collector cautions other potential victims
January 21, 2012 · Updated 9:11 AM
Instead of trusting that the owner of Port Orchard Coin & Pawn ran a legitimate business, a former customer wishes she’d checked his background.
The business owner, Michael Everdean, is allegedly linked to a burglary last month at the house where the woman has lived for 26 years in Olalla.
The thieves broke open a safe that Everdean had helped the woman install last spring, and took an estimated $96,000 worth of gold coins and jewelry, including family heirlooms. Some of the stolen items were recovered when authorities searched Everdean’s business and home, but most of her property has not been found.
Reflecting on her loss, the woman said anyone considering doing business at a shop like Port Orchard Coin should investigate the place first.
“Find out whether or not there are any complaints logged with either the city police or the sheriff” about the business, she said. “I think that’s very valuable information to obtain when it comes to dealing with antiques and collectibles.”
She said that “apparently there were multiple complaints” to law enforcement about Port Orchard Coin or Everdean, which she was unaware of before the burglary.
She also said she didn’t know until after the break-in at her home that the house next door had been hit the week before by thieves that stripped all the copper wire from the place.
“Talk to your neighbors, get to know your neighbor,” she advised, so people living near each other will be vigilant and notify police if they see any suspicious cars or people in the neighborhood.
The burglary victim, who said her losses aren’t covered by insurance, had some other advice she wishes she had heeded herself.
“My suggestion to people out there who are collectors is that they don’t keep their collections in one location,” she said. “Go with a safety deposit box, maybe more than one.”
What’s especially painful about what happened to her is that many of the stolen items were irreplaceable family heirlooms.
“They were gifts given to me by my grandparents and parents, and special people in my life, even a priest who had given me a pocket watch years ago,” she said.