The world’s most famous pawn shop is caught up in the alleged theft of a $50,000 coin collection after the “Pawn Stars” store bought the pilfered goods.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Clark County (Nev.) Justice Court, Las Vegas resident David Walters’ coin collection was stolen from his home in November by his niece, Jennifer Beckman, who then sold them to the gang at Gold and Silver Pawn for $12,375.
Court documents say Walters’ collection – kept in a bag hidden under a dresser – contained such rarities as a Saint-Gaudens $20 gold piece and Silver Morgan coins from the 1880s as well as contemporary one-ounce American Buffalo gold pieces.
Walters estimated the value of his collection at up to $50,000, although the store says they weren’t worth that much. Detective Gregory Watkins of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said he contacted Gold and Silver in an attempt to recover the lost loot, but was too late.
Some of the coins may have been sold while others were likely melted down as scrap. Gold and Silver spokesperson, Laura Herlovich, explained: “In a fast-moving shop, particularly our shop, because of its fame, you move things quickly.”
But “Pawn Stars” fans can rest easy – your favorite History Channel hawkers are off the hook in this case as there is no allegation they broke the law. Nevada law generally requires pawn shops to hold hocked items for 30 to 90 days before getting rid of them, but coins are an exception to the law.
When coins come in, says Herlovich, they typically are in plastic cases with a value already assigned them by a grader.
“If the grader is not someone we trust, the cases are cracked open and the coins are sent out to be melted down,” she added. “I don’t know for sure, but I believe a majority were melted down.”