2 Million Dimes, Crab Legs, Jose Cuervo Among Haul of Stolen Loot From Philadelphia Crime Spree


Four men are facing a slough of criminal charges after federal authorities said they robbed a series of trucks in the Philadelphia area, including one carrying a shipment of dimes from the United States Federal Reserve.

According to an article by the Associated Press, the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently unsealed an indictment against four Philadelphia men who allegedly broke into and robbed several trucks in the Philadelphia area before stealing just over $234,000 worth of freshly-minted dimes on April 13 of this year.

The alleged thieves reportedly left dimes scattered all over the roadway from quickly trying to bag and transfer a portion of the cargo, which weighed more than six tons in total, from the truck to their getaway van according to the AP. Federal authorities said the four suspects they arrested for the theft of the dimes were also believed to have robbed several other trucks in the area around the same time. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that several other cargo loads containing shrimp, frozen crab legs, meat, beer and liquor were suspected to have been stolen by the following suspects:

25-year-old Rakiem Savage, 31-year-old Ronald Byrd, 30-year-old Haneef Palmer and 32-year-old Malik Palmer who all reside in the Philadelphia area have been charged with a laundry list of felony crimes related to these incidents, according to a recently unsealed federal indictment. Charges filed  included robbery, theft of government money, conspiracy and more.

The Philadelphia Inquirer said that the crimes all carried a similar mode of operation where the men would find trucks resting in parking lots or rest areas, forcibly remove drivers from their trucks and use bolt cutters to gain access to the cargo – which would then be removed and loaded onto a white box truck. The stolen goods were later put up for sale via various internet-based mediums.

Authorities alleged that Savage stole 60 cases of Jose Cuervo from a truck in March. Following that incident, authorities alleged that six refrigerators were stolen just two weeks before the dime theft by Savage and the Palmers. During this incident, the suspects reportedly pulled the driver from his vehicle and made him lie under their white box truck while they unloaded and reloaded the stolen refrigerators. Additionally, after the April 13 dime theft, messages were sent from Byrd to several others via the internet explaining that Byrd had stolen shrimp for sale, the market rate for which was not immediately clear.

Philadelphia police told the Inquirer they did not believe the accused thieves were aware of what was in the truck on April 13 when they stumbled upon just over $750,000 in dimes fresh from the Federal Reserve. Surveillance video showed six men in gray hoodies approach the truck, which police said had pulled over in a parking lot to rest while en route to Miami. The men broke open the truck’s cargo area with bolt cutters and began transferring the dimes to their box truck. Surveillance video also showed the men stealing recycling bins as they made their way out of the area, presumably to help unload the stolen coins.

The AP article said that after the April 13 dime theft, thousands of dollars in conversions of dimes to cash were recorded in Coinstar machines in Maryland. Equally large deposits of dimes were also made to at least four Philadelphia bank branches, according to a federal indictment obtained by the Associated Press. However, the value exchanged at the coin machines was only a small percentage of the value of the total haul of dimes, meaning the vast majority of the dimes remained unaccounted for at the time this article was written.

“If for some reason you have a lot of dimes at home,” Philadelphia police spokesperson Miguel Torres told the New York Times in April, “this is probably not the time to cash them in.”

If convicted of all the charges they have been indicted on, the four suspects could collectively face decades behind bars, according to the article by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Legal representatives for all four men did not immediately respond to requests for comment by either the Associated Press or the Philadelphia Inquirer. All four men were reportedly still in FBI custody but were scheduled to appear before a judge on Monday.



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