PHILADELPHIA (AP/ WPHL) — Four men have been charged with the theft of more than 2 million dimes from a tractor-trailer that had picked up coins from the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.
25-year-old Rakiem Savage, 31-year-old Ronald Byrd, 30-year-old Haneef Palmer, and 32-year-old Malik Palmer, all from Philadelphia, now face charges of conspiracy, robbery, theft of government money, and other related charges.
In the initial report back in April 2023, police said the truck driver had picked up $750,000 worth of dimes from the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia and was scheduled to deliver them to Miami, Florida.
As it is common practice among truck drivers, the driver pulled into a parking lot of the Franklin Mills Mall in Northeast Philadelphia, left his truck, and went home to sleep before his long commute to Florida.
When the truck driver returned in the morning he noticed that during the night, thieves made their way into the truck and made off with approximately $750,000 in dimes. Authorities said that the total sum of dimes weighed more than six tons.
Despite stealing a large sum of money, the thieves also left thousands of coins scattered all over the Walmart parking lot where the truck was left overnight.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that prosecutors contend that the theft — which they now say totaled $234,500 in stolen dimes — was part of a spree of robberies from tractor-trailers passing through the region that also netted the thieves frozen crab legs, shrimp, meat, beer, and liquor.
During the initial report, authorities said that mall surveillance footage showed six men, dark or black clothing, and one was wearing a grey hoodie. The men who were armed with bolt cutters, approached the truck in the middle of the night, broke into it, and then loaded the coins into a white Chrysler 300 with tinted windows, and a dark-colored pickup truck, which were used as part of the getaway operation.
According to the Associated Press, an indictment that was unsealed on Friday alleges that after the theft, the thousands of stolen dimes were converted into cash at coin machines in Maryland and at least four different suburban Philadelphia banks.
The Associated Press reached out seeking comment on the charges to the attorneys for Savage and Malik Palmer but court documents don’t list attorneys for Byrd and Haneef Palmer, so no comment was able to be received.
The Associated Press contributed to this report