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Thief rips rare coin from 80 year old retiree

January 24, 2013
Pine Island Eagle

A rare Spanish coin, over several hundred years old, is brutally snatched from the neck of a Cape senior citizen, and now Crime Stoppers is hoping the suspect can be found, along with the one-of-a-kind work of art.

According to Cape Coral Police, on Saturday, Jan. 12, around 12:30 p.m., the senior citizen was sitting in his convertible car near the 4500 block of Del Prado Boulevard, when a white male in his 30s approached him and asked what time it was. When the victim looked down, the suspect ripped off the man's necklace, before fleeing on foot. What the thief likely didn't realize at the time was just how valuable, and rare, that necklace was. The necklace itself is made of heavy gauge rope, valued at roughly $3,500. The charm, however, is a rare 24 karat gold Spanish coin from 1715, which was turned into a charm by a Sanibel Island artist in 1996. The current value of the charm itself is in the range of $20,000.

"This was a brutal crime first and foremost because a senior citizen was victimized and robbed of something very precious to him," said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. "The crime occurred in the middle of the day on a very busy part of Del Prado Boulevard, so we're hoping that someone may recollect seeing something suspicious in that area around that time frame. Additionally, the rarity of the charm and its financial value would definitely be noticeable to a gold broker or pawn shop, and we hope they would do the right thing and report if they had someone try to sell it to them."

Article Photos

The suspect is described is being over 6 feet tall, with an average build. Anyone with information on his identity, or who may have seen something suspicious around the time the crime was committed, is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. Tips may also be made online at or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.



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