Coin collection behind murder of FDNY vet

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Treashunt, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    Let be careful out there!

    Coin collection behind murder of FDNY vet

    May 28, 2007, 10:19 PM EDT
    Robbery appears to be the motive in the murder of a former New York City firefighter from Long Island, Scottsdale, Ariz., police said Monday.

    Jeff Bigham, 56, wanted Salvatore Princiotta's valuable coin collection. So the Californian flew to Princiotta's Scottsdale home, shot the retired firefighter four times, and took it, according to police.

    Bigham then flew to California and sold the coins for $18,000 to an unwitting coin dealer in Vista, police said.

    He also gave the dealer a large commemorative Elvis stamp that he had stolen from Princiotta's home, telling the dealer to try and sell it for him.

    Princiotta's body was discovered after relatives, alarmed that they hadn't heard from him earlier this month, had asked a nephew who attended school in nearby Tempe to check on Princiotta.

    The 21-year-old nephew, also named Salvatore Princiotta, went to the condo on May 14, where he found the door locked, the house neat and orderly -- and his uncle's body lying on his bedroom floor.

    The safe was unlocked, the collection gone.

    Princiotta had moved to Scottsdale last winter, hoping that the dry desert air would help the breathing conditions he developed after working at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    Princiotta and Bigham, who met at a Las Vegas convention, spoke by phone almost every day in the days leading up to Princiotta's death, police said.

    Family members told police that they suspected a man named "Jeff," who had associated with Princiotta, was involved in his murder.

    On May 25, police found Bigham at a motel in San Bernardino, Calif. When cornered, Bigham shot and killed himself.

    Monday, Princiotta's brother, Chuck Princiotta, said he credited his 21-year-old son with noticing the unlocked safe and alerting authorities.

    But the news that police had definitively linked Bigham to the crime was bittersweet.

    "It only hammers home the unbelievable point that someone would murder somebody for some coins and a stamp," Chuck Princiotta said.

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  3. YNcoinpro_U.S.

    YNcoinpro_U.S. New Member

  4. AdamL

    AdamL Likes Silver

    Thats terrible. What an idiot that murderer was. Him, and a decent man, both dead for 18 grand. Another sad robbery story. These stories are starting to make me a little paranoid.
  5. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    Don't be paranoid, be careful.
  6. DJCoinz

    DJCoinz Majored in Morganology

    You do have to be careful with all those lunatics out there.
  7. kiwi01

    kiwi01 Senior Member

    It just goe's to show that you have to be very careful who you tell about your collection and how much you tell them! :(
  8. dopeuser

    dopeuser Senior Member

    I wanted to say something when I saw all the posts about people keeping guns and coins in the same safe. I couldnt quite get why no one was possibly thinking that someone could break into the safe for the coins, and when you wake up and catch them, they'll turn around and shoot you with your own gun.
    Well it turns out that Bigham was the one that sold and installed Princiotta's safe. I can't say I know for sure where the gun came from, but he had flown there to rob him, and I can't see that he boarded a plane with a gun.
  9. clembo

    clembo A closed mind is no mind

    I live in a rather "high crime area" so am always on my toes. VERY few people know that I am really into collecting.
    Unfortunately, people that don't live in areas like mine tend to take the approach that it will never happen to me. Well, it obviously does. Criminals travel and I've been saying it for years.

    As I saw in another post. "Don't be paranoid - be carefu;l".
  10. Shortgapbob

    Shortgapbob Emerging Numismatist

    That's a very sad story to have to hear about. My prayers go out to the murdered individual's family.
  11. rotobeast

    rotobeast Old Newbie

    Damn, that is horrible.

    I have guns all over my house.
    I am single, no kids, ect...

    There are 3 guns in the room where my safes are and I would not even consider letting anyone follow me into the room.
    If I were going to show someone something, they can wait in the living room, and I will go get it.
    If they come into the room, while I'm opening a safe, they'll get a 44 mag in the snout.
    Heck, I even have a gun in the bathroom.
    I'm not really paranoid, I just have a lot of guns.
    Just a collector, I guess.
  12. AdamL

    AdamL Likes Silver

    Yeah, no one ever gets past the foyer, kitchen and living room of my house. We have a few guns in various places, and the most valuable stuff is in the bank. That being said, I still am not sure if I'm carefull enough. I know one thing though, the safe I've had since September is getting bolted down first thing in the morning.
  13. Aidan Work

    Aidan Work New Member

    It goes to prove why certain scumbags are only fit for being given the death penalty.The murderer of the retired firefighter is now burning up in that extremely hot place that is called the Lake of Fire in Hell!

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