Stolen coins worth $250K recovered in Douglasville - FOX 35 News Orlando

Stolen coins worth $250K recovered in Douglasville

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A quick-thinking jewelry store owner helped police catch a man suspected of stealing $250,000 worth of coins in Douglasville.

Empire Jewelers owner Glen Easterwood became skeptical when a man came into his store with bags of gold coins each worth about $2,000.

"He opened the bag, I looked and said, ‘this guy has just ruined somebody's day,'" said Easterwood.

The bags contained gold platinum and silver as well as rare, historic coins.

"He wanted $20,000 for them; it was worth between 250 and 300," said Easterwood.

Easterwood says he offered the man $80,000 and then began to assess the coins in order to buy time as he called police.

"We knew within 30 seconds what was going on, we just had to keep him here until the police got here," said Easterwood.

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

The coin collection, valued at $300,000, had been stolen the from a Carroll County home the night before.

The coins themselves are untraceable and could have quickly been melted down with nobody ever the wiser if Easterwood hadn't done something.

"He saw something and realized there was probably a victim out there and he had the ability to do something about it," said Capt. J.R. Davidson of the Douglasville Police Department.

"It's the biggest problem, the biggest hassle for us. It does not work out good for us if we buy something stolen," said Easterwood.

Police are looking into whether the 19-year-old they've arrested had accomplices.

The coins are back with their rightful owner.

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