Failed U.S. Mint Dime Heist Lands Thieves in Hot Water

It was part of a spree of robberies that targeted tractor-trailers.

The United States Mint is seen, March 1, 2002, in Philadelphia.
The United States Mint is seen, March 1, 2002, in Philadelphia.
AP Photo/Dan Loh, File

PHILADELPHIA (AP) β€” Federal authorities have released more details and unsealed charges in the theft of more than 2 million dimes earlier this year from a tractor-trailer that had picked up the coins from the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.

The truck driver was bound for Miami when he pulled into a parking lot to sleep on April 13. During the night, thieves made off with a portion of its cargo of $750,000 in dimes, a shipment weighing about six tons, authorities had said earlier.

Thousands of coins were left scattered all over the lot in northeast Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that prosecutors contend that the theft β€” which they now say totaled $234,500 in stolen dimes β€” was part of a spree of robberies from tractor-trailers passing through the region that also netted the thieves frozen crab legs, shrimp, meat, beer and liquor.

Detectives said at the time that surveillance video showed six men, dressed in gray hoodies and armed with bolt cutters, approaching the truck in the middle of the night and breaking into it, then loading the coins into smaller bags and into a waiting truck.

The indictment unsealed Friday alleges that after the theft, thousands of dimes were converted into cash at coin machines in Maryland or through deposits to at least four different suburban Philadelphia banks, the newspaper reported.

Four Philadelphia men β€” 25-year-old Rakiem Savage, 31-year-old Ronald Byrd, 30-year-old Haneef Palmer and 32-year-old Malik Palmer β€” face conspiracy, robbery, theft of government money and other charges.

Messages seeking comment on the charges were sent Monday to attorneys for Savage and Malik Palmer; court documents don't list attorneys for Byrd and Haneef Palmer, and a message could not be left at a number listed for the latter.

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