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Thief rips rare coin from 80-year-old retiree

By Staff | Jan 24, 2013

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

According to Cape police, at about 12:30 p.m. Jan. 12, the victim was sitting in his convertible car near the 4500 block of Del Prado Boulevard when a man in his 30s approached and asked what time it was. When the victim looked down, the man ripped off the victim’s necklace and fled on foot.

What the thief likely did not realize at the time was just how valuable and rare the necklace was.

The necklace 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 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,” Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers coordinator, said. “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,” she said.

The man is described is being more than 6 feet tall, with an average build.

Anyone with information on his identity or who may have seen something suspicious is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (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: www.swflcrimestoppers.com or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.

Source: Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers