Coins Worth $250,000 Recovered

A fast-thinking jewelry store owner aided police in catching man suspected of stealing $250,000 worth of coins in Douglasville, Georgia.

Empire Jewelers owner Glen Easterwood became suspicious about a man who entered his store with bags of gold coins, each worth about $2,000.

Easterwood said when the customer opened the bag, he looked in and said to himself that the man had just ruined someone’s day.

The bag contained gold coins, platinum coins, and silver coins in addition to rare and historic coins.

Easterwood said the man wanted $20,000 for the coins when they were worth between $250,000 and $300,000.

In order to buy time to call the police, Easterwood says he offered the man $80,000 for the coins. He also said he knew within 30 seconds what was going on; he just had to keep him there until the police arrived.

Police arrived and arrested 19-year-old Shelby Clinton Houpe.

The collection, which has since been valued at $300,000, was stolen from a Carroll County home the night before.

Captain J.R. Davidson of the Douglasville Police Department said the jewelry store owner saw something and realized there was probably a victim out there and he had the ability to do something about it.

Easterwood commented that is the biggest problem and biggest hassle for his organization. It does not work out good if they buy something stolen, he added.

Currently, gold prices are over $1,650.00 per troy ounce. Since the economic crises of 2007-2008, gold prices have skyrocketed, making the yellow metal a target for would-be thieves. The proper storage and safety of physical bullion has always been an important part of owning gold coins, whether the collector is interested in coinage or buying bullion as a safe haven against the risk of the markets.

Additionally, it has become increasingly important to work with reputable bullion dealers, preferably with several years of business behind them and affiliations with professional organizations and publications. Counterfeit coins or stolen property are nearly eliminated from the process in this manner.

Buyers of physical gold and silver bullion, like Easterwood, must be conscientious as they go about their daily business because the possibility of buying large sums of stolen property is an extraordinary concern, as he states. Stolen property is bad for everyone involved, including the business, which is the recipient of the loss should they accidentally purchase the gold and silver.

In this case, Easterwood managed the situation very well and the coins have been returned to their rightful owner.

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