Dime heist: 4 Philadelphia men charged after millions of dimes stolen from US Mint truck

Dime heist: 4 Philadelphia men charged after millions of dimes stolen from US Mint truck


Sarah Al-Arshani
 USA TODAY

Federal authorities unsealed charges against four men accused of stealing over two million dimes from a U.S. Mint tractor-trailer truck in April.

Four Philadelphia men face conspiracy, robbery, theft of government money and other charges. According to court documents, the men Rakiem Savage, 25; Ronald Byrd, 31; Haneef Palmer, 30; and Malik Palmer, 32, stole over $234,500 worth of dimes on April 13.

Prosecutors allege that the four men used bolt cutters to rob the unmarked tractor-trailer that had 75 million dimes, worth $750,000 on it, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The driver was on the way to Miami, but parked the trailer in a Walmart parking lot so he could get some sleep.

The four men had been on a robbery spree when they came across the truck. It doesn’t appear that they knew what was inside it, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors also allege that the men were responsible for other robberies of freight trains passing through the region. Some of the stolen goods include alcoholic beverages, frozen crab legs, shrimp and meat.

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Dime heist details

When the driver returned to the truck in the morning, he found a trail of dimes. Officials told ABC6 at the time that the men appeared to try to load the dimes which were on pallets into smaller containers.

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Philadelphia Police Capt. John Ryan, commanding officer of the Northeast Detectives told the Inquirer at the time that surveillance footage showed men in gray hoodies approaching the trailer in the middle of the night. After breaking in with box cutters, the men loaded the dimes into smaller bags and put them into another truck.

Videos show the parking lot covered in dimes.

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

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On a dime: Documents reveal that thieves attempted to cash in

According to court filings, the men deposited and exchanged several thousand dollars worth of the stolen dimes.

The day after the robbery, Malik Palmer allegedly sent a link to an online calculator that uses the weight of coins to estimate the cash value to Byrd, who then sent it to the other two alleged robbers.

In the weeks that followed, the men then exchanged the dimes for cash at various Coinstar machines in Maryland, or deposited them into bank accounts before withdrawing them as cash, the court filings said.

The court filings only indicate that a small fraction of the stolen money was deposited or exchanged. It’s unclear what happened to the rest of the over $200,000 stolen.

The Philadelphia Police Department did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.

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