Tucson Police step up patrols for world's largest Gem show

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Nearly 50,000 people from all over the world will be coming to Tucson for the world's largest gem, and mineral showcase and police are prepared. 

Tucson Police say with this type of event comes thefts, shoplifting, and strong-arm robberies. 

"Obviously with that big of an influx we need to beef up our patrols. Right now, we have two additional squads in uniform and two additional squads of motor officers," says Lieutenant Dan Lewis with Tucson Police. 
     
While you are out on your treasure hunt, caution you to stay alert. 

Police say that there historically have been crews that follow around gem shows.

"Since you have a large number of people and products and money - these individuals take advantage of that," said Lewis. 

For exhibitors - it's a race to the finish.

"We unload everything - start making it look nice - get the lighting up," says Mary Cox, a wholesale vendor from Sedona. 

For the past 18 years, Aman Dhandia with Silver Planet inc says he's hoping for a better year than last because sales were down 60%. 

Dhandia says, his preparation takes an entire year.

"This is the biggest show, so we empty our warehouse and bring it here."

The big show, Crystals, and Crystal forms begin February 8th through February 11 at the Tucson Convention Center.

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