Most of the Stolen Knives Found; 3 Still Missing

Most of the Stolen Knives Found; 3 Still Missing
This John W. Smith folder in fossil ivory is one of three knives still missing. ( photo)
Be on the lookout for this folder, the Shin, by Rockstead. ( photo)
The Shin by Rockstead is the one of the three stolen knives still missing. (
Keep an eye out for this missing John W. Smith folder. ( photo)
This John W. Smith folder in fossil ivory is the second of the three stolen knives that are still missing. ( photo)

Purveyor Michael Donato was one happy man earlier this week when all but three of approximately 150 stolen knives were returned.

The three knives that remain missing are the Shin by Rockstead and two John W. Smith folders, all of which are pictured at right.

“This has been the craziest roller-coaster ride of my life,” the owner of said. “The support of the custom knife world between collectors, dealers and others has been incredible.”

How the alleged thief was caught is a story in itself. Video surveillance captured him stealing Donato’s pelican case containing the knives at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport that services Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina. Law enforcement was able to identify the man from the video and later used it to identify him among the passengers coming off a flight from Indianapolis, Indiana. Officials determined the suspect’s next flight destination and were waiting for him when he got off the plane. He was even wearing the same clothes he had on when he allegedly stole the knives. Detectives watched as he apparently tried to steal another piece of luggage and nabbed him. He confessed and is being held on $100,000 bond. He led detectives to the knives, which he had stashed in his hotel room. Donato said the man had separated the knives by maker and had prices by each. “He must have seen my business card, visited my website and guessed at the values from it,” Donato said. “He was pretty spot on with the prices.”

A mother of pearl John Smith folder is one of the three knives still missing. ( photo)
This John Smith folder in mother of pearl is the last of the three stolen knives still missing. ( photo)

Unfortunately, the man apparently was able to sell the three knives that are still missing before he was apprehended.

If you have any information concerning the stolen knives, contact Donato via

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    • Thanks, Ed. It’s always nice to hear stories with happy endings, isn’t it? 😉 Now if they can just find the last three missing knives, the case will be closed–other than prosecuting the crook who stole the knives in the first place, that is.


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