Security a top priority for gem show guests, hosts - Tucson News Now

Security a top priority for gem show guests, hosts

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Vendors from all around the world are busy all across town setting up shop. Vendors from all around the world are busy all across town setting up shop.
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase is less than a week away, and the city is already filling up with vendors ready to sell their items.

That means millions of dollars' worth of gems and minerals are here, and sellers are going out of their way to keep them safe.

It was just two years ago thieves got nearly $1 million in gems from an out of state vendor who was staying at a south-side motel.

It took nearly a year before police tracked down the stolen items.

Obviously, neither vendors nor police want something similar to happen again.

Tucson Police already have a strong presence letting people know they're keeping an eye out to keep people and their belongings safe.

Police have a command center set up just yards away from many of the shows downtown.

Vendors from all around the world are busy all across town setting up shop.

Many of them brought with them tens of thousands of dollars' worth of fossils, minerals and rare gems.

Some sellers say they lock up their merchandise or hire security to keep an eye on it.

With the big event nearly here, Tucson Police officers are busy patrolling on foot, bike and driving around looking for anything suspicious.

"There certainly is an increased emphasis in patrol in the areas where the show is, in addition to the off duty and special security each show puts on," said Assistant Chief John Leavitt. "We've dedicated extra resources to wherever there is a show in city limits and make sure we have a very high profile presence to make sure people feel welcome and that they're safe."

Police are also asking the public to keep an eye out for anything that doesn't look right.

If you notice something, police say to call them right away.

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