After the heist, the parking lot was strewn with ten-cent pieces, but prosecutors say a group of four men made off with about $234,500 worth of dimes in a brazen Philadelphia-area truck robbery earlier this year, according to unsealed charges.
On 13 April, Rakiem Savage, 25; Ronald Byrd, 31; Haneef Palmer, 30; and Malik Palmer, 32, allegedly used tire irons and bolt cutters to break into a semi-truck carrying a massive load of dimes from the US Mint in Philadelphia to Miami, according to federal prosecutors.
At the time, officials were baffled by the robbery, and how the thieves planned to launder their conspicuous haul of small coins.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Officer Miguel Torres of the Philadelphia Police Department told The New York Times in April. “That’s the weird part about this,” he added. “How do they expect to use it?”
Six men in total were seen on surveillance footage during the robbery.
Eventually, police investigating the incident noticed a pair of vehicles that were present at a series of area trailer robberies – including thefts of frozen seafood and liquor – and identified the four Philadelphia men now accused of conspiracy, robbery, theft of government money and other charges.
Another alleged heist from the crew allegedly involved the group pulling a truck driver from his vehicle and forcing him to lie down on the pavement as six refrigerators were stolen.
One of the men allegedly sent others in the alleged theft ring an online link to a coin value calculator, and the group was allegedly recorded converting the dimes into cash at Coinstar machines in Maryland and suburban Philadelphia banks, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Arnold Joseph, an attorney for Malik Palmer, told The New York Times his client “disputes the charges and is prepared to mount a defense.”