Suspect found in theft of antique whiskey bottle

Suspect found in theft of rare Ferguson Whiskey flask

SANTA ROSA – When a rare Ferguson Whiskey flask was stolen last April at the Santa Rosa Bottle Show, collectors were left frustrated and dismayed.

American Bottle Auctions had brought many of their rarest and most desirable bottles coming up for their spring auction for public display and soon after set-up, a rare coffin flask was missing. Collectors and dealers alike were left feeling that even a bottle show was now unsafe to present items for sale and for auction. That a person could just walk into a bottle show and steal something right off the table of unsuspecting victims left both the organizers of the show and participants with a feeling of dread.

Soon after the show, the same bottle (valued between $1,500-$2,000), right down to three very distinctive bubbles appeared on ebay, a well-known international auction site. It wasn’t long before various people began calling American Bottle Auctions informing them of a very similar bottle to the one stolen in Santa Rosa being sold on ebay. After contacting authorities in the Vallejo, Calif., police department, the seller of the flask was contacted.

Police have issued an arrest warrant for the suspect who is now awaiting an appearance before Vallejo County judges.

According to American Bottle Auctions, the theft at bottle shows is not a new thing; bottles have been missing from shows for years. A couple years ago at a show in Lodi, American Bottle Auctions lost a rare M.R. Sacramento soda bottle, which was never recovered. This time was different as a number of individuals came forward and helped the police in uncovering evidence that helped them find the right person.

This last weekend at the Auburn Bottle Show, a number of bottles were missing from tables. When presenting bottles at a show, make sure you keep an eye on your bottles at all times.
American Bottle Auctions set up a camera connected to a computer that records any movement at its table. This was most likely enough to fend off any would be thieves and it might be something to think about. Needless the company did not experience any thefts during the Auburn show.

The auction house is advising bottle dealers and sellers to pay more attention to their tables during events and looking out for our neighbor’s table. All it takes is a little extra precaution.