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Vermont Police Arrest Four for Stealing, Selling $200k in Gold Coins

Vermont State Police say more than $200,000 in gold coins were stolen from a vacant home following the death of its eccentric owner in a farm accident last year.

The authorities report the four suspects also stole a vehicle, antiques, and other items from the home in Alburgh in the months following its owner’s death.

The police arrested 35-year-old Ricky Benjamin, 52-year-old Mark Mumley, both of Alburgh, and 41-year-old Shawn Farrell, of Swanton, who were arraigned and held on $75,000 bail. A fourth suspect was released after being issued a citation.

Police reported Thursday the defendants sold coins ranging in value from $350 to $1,800 to coin and jewelry dealers in another county claiming they had inherited the coins. More arrests are expected as investigators say they’ve recovered $5,000 in coins so far. There is great incentive for small businesses buying and selling gold and silver coin to know from whom they are buying. The purchase of illegal coins often will cost the businesses in the end.

Recently a small gold and silver dealer in Georgia managed to keep a suspect in his store as he called the police. The customer brought in over $300,000 worth of gold and silver coin and asked only $80,000 for them, an obviously suspicious price difference. The suspect was apprehended and the coins were returned to their rightful owners.

Concerns about the illegal trade of gold and silver coins appear to be overhyped in a world of interconnected media and high coin prices. No theft goes unreported and many coins are such that they can be found through networks of dealers.

Partially incentivizing the sale or purchase of illegal coins are the high prices of gold and silver, which have been on a 12-year long uptrend in markets. Even as metals have been under pressure by strength in commodities market recently, the price of gold I sup on Wednesday with a change of $5.10, or 0.30 percent, to $1,678.50 per troy ounce. The spot price of gold is up $5.02, or 0.30 percent, to $1,677.90 per troy ounce.

Prices can be compared to $281 per troy ounce of gold in 2001 and $681 per troy ounce immediately after the financial crises in October of 2008.

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