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Thief drops stolen coin collection into Coinstar machine

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

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Not an authorized rare coin dealer

Police in Oregon are searching for a suspect who allegedly stole a rare coin collection from his own father and traded it in for pennies on the dollar at a local coin-counting machine.

On Christmas day, Dan Johnson Jr. and two friends allegedly broke into a shed on his father's property, where the coin collection was stowed. The burglars also reportedly stole tools and two safes, which had approximately 50 to 60 pounds of silver and jewelry inside.

So what explains the colossal miscue? Authorities say that the simplest explanation is the most persuasive one. "The obvious answer is that the crooks were idiots," Dan Johnson Sr. told local affiliate Fox 12. "To not know the value of what they had taken, just to get pocket change for it. Just really a stupid person. Makes me feel good he was a stupid person and didn't realize what he had."

The thieves took the coin collection, worth several thousand dollars, and dropped it into a Coinstar machine, where they received $450. They were unsuccessful in their attempts to put the silver coins into the machine and eventually took those to a local bank.

"It was an inheritance, which made it even worse because I lost an inheritance that was meant to go forward for my children and grandchildren," Johnson said of the collection that his son had purloined.

One thing Johnson did not specify is whether one of the actual intended beneficiaries was supposed to be the same son accused of stealing from him.

However, Johnson is now working with the Multnomah County Sheriff's deputies to sift through the Coinstar machine looking for his collection. The bank is also returning the silver coins to Johnson.

Police have caught two of the suspects involved in the crime, both of whom they say are cooperating in the investigation.

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