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Local Papers Report on Alleged Gem Theft by Eye Surgeon
Tuesday February 6th - It was a sunny day today with a high of 77 degrees.

I spent some time at the Ramada Inn today photographing red beryl crystals in matrix with my 35mm, and a couple of other rocks too. I also took a Show shuttle downtown to the strip and bought four nice blocks of soapstone from the Defense Logistics Agency tent at the Pueblo Inn. They had temporarily run out when I visited the other day, which was just as well as I couldn't have carried it then anyway. I don't know what I'm going carve out of the soapstone yet, but at 60 cents a pound, I just couldn't pass it up.

I didn't take the video camera, so you don't get snapshots today. Sorry about that, but I can only carry so much! Hopefully I'll have some nice scanned images from some of the 35mm slides I'm taking to show you later on.

It seems like every year during the Show there's at least one story in the Tucson papers about a theft of rocks at the Show. I guess its just too big an event for this sort of activity not to occur. Because of the value of many of the specimens and gems on display and the large numbers of attendees circulating and often crowding about them, security is pretty heavy. According to an article by David L. Teibel in today's Tucson Citizen, a California doctor has been arrested and charged in the theft of gems at the Show. Here's the headline and several paragraphs from the article on the front page of the paper:

California eye surgeon is charged in theft of $7000 in gems

An eye surgeon was arrested during the weekend in the alleged theft of $7000 in gems during one of the annual gem shows in Tucson, police said.

The arrest was made at the American Gem and Trade Association wholesale dealer's show than began Jan. 31. The show at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave., ended yesterday.

Dr. James Hung, 50, of Fresno, Calif., was booked Saturday afternoon into Pima County Jail on suspicion of theft of property valued at more than $3000. He later posted $5,500 bond and was released.

Police investigator Rodney Parrish said police providing security saw a customer put precious stones in his pocket at a sales booth. The stones were recovered, and Hung was detained.

Parish said Hung had papers indicating he opened a Fresno gem dealership in December.

An eye surgeon? Go figure...


Well, okay. One picture. After I got back from the strip and unloaded the soapstone, I took the camcorder along for a late visit at the Executive Inn. While there, I caught the Fluorescent Mineral Society holding a meeting out on the patio. Sounded like these folks have some great stuff planned for their 25th anniversary exhibits at the Tucson Convention Center, which opens on Thursday, February 8th. Can't wait! Sorry the picture is so dark, but it was, well, dark. These rockhounds are used to it anyway, right?


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