The two million stolen coins weighed a whopping 10,000 pounds and totaled $234,500.
Four men have been charged in the theft of more than two million dimes — totaling $234,500 — from a tractor-trailer in Philadelphia.
The dime theft occurred during a spree of transport truck robberies in the spring of 2023. In the weeks leading up to the incident, the men had allegedly stolen cargo such as frozen crab meat, shrimp, meat, beer, and liquor.
The four men include 25-year-old Rakiem Savage, 31-year-old Ronald Byrd, 30-year-old Haneef Palmer, and 32-year-old Malik Palmer, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. They face charges of conspiracy, robbery, and theft of government money.
The alleged thieves were caught on surveillance video in a Walmart parking lot approaching the truck and using bolt cutters to break the lock on the back. However, police believe they had no idea what they were about to find inside.
The truck was carrying pallets of dimes. There were 7.5 million coins in total, adding up to $750,000. The driver had picked up the dimes that day from the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia and was transporting them to Miami. He had left his truck in the parking lot for the night and gone home to sleep before he headed south the next morning, as there are regulations for how long truckers can be on the road without rest.
The thieves found the pallets were too heavy for them to carry, so they allegedly split them open and loaded the dimes into smaller bags. Surveillance footage even captured them stopping at nearby houses and stealing recycling bins to make transporting and unloading the coins easier.
When authorities responded to the scene in the early hours of April 14, they arrived to an unusual sight. Hundreds of thousands of dimes were scattered across the parking lot, glinting in the morning sun.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Philadelphia police officer Miguel Torres in an interview with The New York Times at the time of the theft.
Police officers had to meticulously collect each and every scattered coin, gathering them in buckets so they could determine how many dimes were actually stolen.
Investigators interviewed the driver of the truck, who said he had discovered the burglarized vehicle when he returned to the parking lot early that morning.
The driver was fortunate that he wasn’t in his truck at the time of the theft, as the men had allegedly forcefully removed drivers of the trucks they had previously robbed. According to the Inquirer, two weeks before the dime theft, Savage and the Palmers had stolen six refrigerators off another truck and forced the driver to lie beneath their vehicle while they robbed him.
Shortly after that theft, Byrd had messaged people saying that he had frozen shrimp to sell.
In another incident, Savage allegedly took 60 cases of Jose Cuervo from the back of a transport truck.
The four men are all in FBI custody awaiting trial. But authorities continue to wonder — what did they do with the coins?
In the weeks following the theft, the men allegedly used Coinstar machines in Maryland to convert a portion of the dimes into cash. They also deposited some of the coins at several different banks in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
But the cash value of the converted dimes is only a couple thousand dollars. The location of the remaining coins is still unknown.
“If for some reason you have a lot of dimes at home,” Officer Torres said, “this is probably not the time to cash them in.”
After reading about the theft of two million dimes, go inside seven of history’s most baffling heists. Or, learn about the burglars who were caught after butt-dialing the police mid-robbery.