Stolen rare coins ended up in change machines

NORTH PALM BEACH, Florida (AP) — Authorities said a Florida man stole collectible coins worth tens of thousands of dollars, then ran them through grocery store change machines that returned just a fraction of their value.

The Palm Beach Post reported  20-year-old Shane Anthony Mele of Riviera Beach told investigators he stole the commemorative Presidential dollar coins and other items from a North Palm Beach office in December.

The coins were worth USD33,000. A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office arrest report said Mele sold some coins for a few thousand dollars, and he ran many through change machines that only produced their face value.

Mele was charged February 1 with grand theft along with unrelated drug charges. He was released on February 4 after posting bond.

Jail records did not show whether he had an attorney.