ORANGEBURG, S.C. — While traveling north from his Florida home to take part in the upcoming New Hampshire Antiques Week, antiques dealer Michael Whittemore’s van and trailer loaded with inventory was stolen at 2 am on July 30 from the parking lot of the Country Inn & Suites. Whittemore left Florida on July 29 and stopped at the inn where he has stayed several times before.
He said the thieves made off with approximately $300,000–$400,000 worth of inventory, collectively about 100 or more items, including some major antique weathervanes. “It was one of the best loads I’ve ever had,” commented the dealer in regard to the quality of the antiques he was transporting. In the days since the theft, Whittemore has learned of other vehicle thefts from other hotels situated at the exit of I-95. “There is a ring working the area,” he said of the thieves who stole a U-Haul truck loaded with a military family’s personal belongings approximately three weeks ago. “They are stealing anything they can grab and fence,” he said.
Despite the recent rash of thefts in the area, Whittemore said he was not notified by the hotel’s staff of any problems after asking at the front desk “where was a safe place to park his truck.”
Surveillance video at the inn shows the thieves coming in from the back side of the building and driving past the front office after hot wiring the van. The vehicle is a 2010 E-350 white Ford club wagon van with roof rack, pulling a 2013 Covered Wagon 16-foot dual-axle white cargo trailer.
This list of stolen items has been compiled by Whittemore:
Antique Garden Items
1. Three-piece cast iron garden furniture set in Fern pattern: two chairs, one bench, old white paint.
2. Pair of small cast iron urns.
3. Cast stone figure of “Venus Rising,” 4 feet tall.
4. Life size “Heron” bird made of lead.
4a. White painted cast iron table with wood top.
5. Yellow pine Southern hunt board with two draws and old refinished surface.
6. Wooden set of industrial shelves 6 feet, 6 inches tall, old blue paint.
7. Pine red and black decorated six-board blanket box.
8. Pine and poplar decorated two-drawer blanket chest in yellow and brown paint.
9. Poplar wood Queen Anne two-drawer blanket chest in old gray paint.
10. Twig top oval top table with a black and yellow decorated base.
10a. Pine six-board blanket box in blue paint.
11. Wooden trunk.
12. Three-tier wooden plant stand in yellow paint.
13. Cast iron base drafting table with wood top in old red paint.
13a. Round 42-inch Empire table covered in sheet metal.
13b. Shoe-foot chair-table in red paint.
14. Small still life painting of pears in a gold leaf frame.
15. Pen and ink drawing of a child on a horse holding a “Merry Christmas” banner.
16. Pair of Nineteenth Century still life paintings of dead game birds in gold leaf frames.
17. Primitive painting of ducks, oil on board.
18. Small still life painting of fruit with gold frame.
19. Nineteenth Century watercolor of a cat in gold frame.
20. Nineteenth Century needlework picture of a compote of flowers in black frame.
21. Oil on canvas still life of fruit, food and bottle wine.
22. Large 18-inch-diameter wooden treen plate.
23. 10-inch-round redware plate with slip decoration of flower.
24. Large round wood burl bowl in red paint.
25. Large redware loaf dish with yellow slip decoration.
26. Medium-size wood burl bowl natural surface.
27. Set of eight folk art men and women black dolls 8 inches tall.
28. 1920s red, white, blue flag quilt.
29. Pair wooden canvas black duck decoys.
30. Pair of green heron wood decoys.
31. Carnival game board with numbers in six colors of paint.
32. Wood trencher bowl in yellow paint.
33. Six slices alabaster stone fruit.
34. 15-inch-tall wood artist model – mannequin.
35. Large wood and rubber penny toss game board.
36. Armoir “Butterine” store sign, 7 feet long.
37. Wooden red and white “No Smoking” sign, 4 feet long.
38. Painted black and white tin “Elk Candy” sign, 4 feet long.
39. Cast stone owl garden figure.
40. Gold leaf wood eagle on red-black plaque.
40a. Carved wooden 40-inch-tall sculpture of a woman.
40b. Collection of 100 German, glass-blown tulips.
40c. Large carved wooden eagle in black paint.
41. Large 48-inch-long copper running horse with cast zinc head in old yellow paint.
42. Copper cow with zinc horns, old yellow and gold leaf surface, 32 inches long.
43. 18-inch-tall copper rooster in old green.
44. 22-inch-long silver painted fish.
45. 5-foot-tall copper Goddess of Liberty holding a flag, old green color.
46. Copper and iron 5-foot-tall standing archer shooting an arrow with bow, old green and rust color.
47. Copper fish 32 inches long with green patina.
48. Two standing horses 34 inches long, green and brown copper.
49. Standing copper “Pig” 32 inches long, old green color.
50. Copper and zinc horse and jockey, 42 inches long, old gold leaf surface.
51. Copper flying bird on arrow 36 inches tall by 32 inches long, old green color.
52. Leaping stag copper and zinc old white paint and gold leaf, 32 inches long.
53. Life-sized flying goose, copper, green in color.
53a. Large 48-inch standing cow weathervane in gold leaf.
A $10,000 reward has been posted by Whittemore for information leading to the recovery of all of the stolen items listed. Anyone with information about any of these is asked to call the Orangeburg Sherriff’s Department at 803-531-4647, or Investigator Thomas Collins at 803-533-5815, case #2013006871. Or contact Mike Whittemore 860-428-1135 or email@example.com.
Also, watch a video of a TV interview with Whittemore regarding this theft at www.wltx.com/news/article/244388/2/Van-Trailer-and-Antiques-Stolen-in-Or....