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Active Member
Aug 5, 2008
A thief named Paul Wisnyi age 61 of St. Helena & San Francisco California has been identified as the person who recently victimized show vendors by stealing several valuable antique bottles off their tables at a Vallejo California bottle show. It is believed that Wisnyi is largely responsible for numerous thefts that have occurred at various Northern California antique & bottle shows in past years. Wisnyi moves his stolen merchandise on eBay under the name; "pdwisnyi" listed four inks and a rare flask two weeks after stealing them and then suddenly pulled the auctions when he realized he'd been caught. Wisnyi who is an obvious kleptomaniac, is ex Vice President of Macy's in San Francisco and also owns property in the Napa Valley wine country. He is currently on probation for strong armed robbery and has a history of stealing from show vendors, apparently he never learned his lesson. He was caught arrested and prosecuted three years ago by the owner of the Alameda Antiques Street Fair for stealing from a vendor and served jail time. He opened a display case when the dealer had his back turned and took two antique cork screws. When confronted he bit the dealers hand in an attempt to escape. http://alamedasun.com/index.php?Itemid=29&id=47&option=com_content&task=view
[/align]As collectors and concerned citizens we should not tolerate this kind of activity that has plagued Northern California bottle shows for years. Now that a thief has finally been caught we need to make an example out of this guy in order to show our community as a whole will not tolerate thief's at our shows. An investigation by the authorities is currently underway. Anyone with information in this case should contact Laurie Lee at the Vallejo Police Department: (707) 648-4516


Well-Known Member
Sep 6, 2005
New York
Wow that's crazy! I was bidding on this guy's umbrella ink and it got pulled off e-bay inexplicibly, I was wondering but this explains it all!
Good thing he's caught!


Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2006
Roanoke Texas
This is my biggest worry about setting up at shows. It bothers me so badly that I do not get to look around as much as I would like because of it. I keep an eye on my stuff, but it is tough to keep track of a couple hundred bottles when you have so many people coming and going. I hope they tack this guy to the wall. I am sure he had the money to pay for any of this stuff, but just decided to steal. I would bet that this guy is the main reason you have had so many problems over there recently. The old turd better be glad he did not do this to me, and get caught in the act. I would pick a common bottle up off my table, and give it to him in the side of the head! I will not even display my bottles in my windows for fear of someone breaking my window to get to them. It is a sad sad world we live in today.....Stealing bottles! And I thought I had the bottle bug bad. At least I pay for mine!



Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2008
The Mountains
At the very last San Benardino Bottle and collectors club show a couple years back (or maybe three)I wanted to help(I was a new member),so they made me security.I Just walked around and talked with people.There was a couple of times that I'd get a vib off someone,and just keep an eye on them.If I saw them do the "look around routine" at more then one table,I'd walk up to them ,introduce myself ,ask them if they were having a good time,then offer myself if they needed help with anything.Both times the guys just sort of strolled out the door.
People that are doing something wrong will tend to look around alot.People who are not, usually stay focused on what they are doing.I know that their are exceptions to every rule,like guys that do the 360 degree thing every X-amount of minutes.But for the most part people tell on themselves,and we all need to be aware .I wonder how many people are saying"I knew there was something funny about that guy"?
Just a thought.We can all be security.


Well-Known Member
Dec 23, 2008
DC with a Delaware Antique Store
I'm glad he was caught. I usually try to talk my girlfriend into working shows with me ( i do bottle shows, comic book shows, indoor/outdoor antique shows and the occasional flea market) for this very reason.

As far as the shows providing security and it only costing around $500, our clubs show usually only has a profit of about $1,000, so that would be about half of the clubs profit. So I don't think too many clubs are going to be eager to do that. Some shows are having problems getting dealers as it is, so they probably do not want to raise dealer cost.

However, the idea of having members walk around should be doable. Although our club has had problems getting enough people to man the door for selling tickets.


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2005
I'm glad they caught him! The guy was none too bright listing the bottles on ebay just a few weeks later. Smart sellers, though, to keep an eye out for the bottles and to do what it takes to catch the guy. Nice job people.


Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2007
Vacaville, Ca.
I had never really given it much thought until the Reno show last year. A friend had a collection of books, a series with each book describing different Western Ghost Towns, and three of the rarer books were lifted. I have been, and I'm sure most of us have also been, victims of theft, and it's ugly. Glad they caught him...Ron

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