Shopping with antique coins at their face value

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by Björn Schöpe

October 25, 2012 – On August 17, 2012 Dakoda Garren and his girlfriend Elizabeth Massman, both 19, decided to go to the movies and then ate some pizza. Quite a common amusement for people of their age. However, it took at least Mr Garren to prison, because he paid with coins stolen in May. This was quite easy to prove since he did not steal simple modern coins but a coin collection of Liberty Head Quarters, Morgan Dollars, and other coins from the early 1800s worth around $100,000. Obviously he was not really aware of this since he paid the pizza with a Liberty Quarter, worth between $1,100 and $18,500 at face value, according to police.

In May the two defendants did part-time work around the house of a woman whose mother had collected coins. According to the woman who reported the collection missing, the two young persons were the only people who could have taken the coins stored in a garage in that period. Indeed, when police investigated in May, Mr Garren said police ‘didn’t have any evidence against him.’ Now this point has changed.

In the movie theater the couple paid with coins from the 1930s worth each between $5 and $68, police said. A theater employee identified Mr Garren. The defendant has been arrested on $40,000 bail being charged with first-degree theft according to a Cowlitz County Jail official. Currently his girlfriend has not been arrested since she is nine months pregnant.
Some numismatic knowledge might have come in handy to the young couple.

You can read about this story in an NBC Los Angeles article

… and in an article of The Columbian.