One of the problems with criminals is they're usually kind of dumb. We've noted the phenomenon before. And, now, according to authorities, a young couple from the Vancouver, Wash. area has provided further proof of the criminal stupidity epidemic.
As Tony Lystra of The Daily News of Longview reports
As Tony Lystra of The Daily News of Longview reports, a man from Vancouver has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree theft after a rare coin collection estimated to be worth $100,000 went missing, and not long after the coins started showing up at local businesses - having been spent at face value on movies and pizza.
The coin collection - which investigators say included Liberty Head quarters, Morgan dollars and a bunch of other rare and valuable coins - was reported stolen in May by a woman from Woodland. According to reports, the woman's mother had collected the coins, and the collection was kept in boxes in her garage. Shortly before the coins disappeared, the woman hired 19-year-old Dakoda Garren and his live-in girlfriend Elizabeth Massman to do some work around her house. The couple was suspected of the theft from the beginning, as the woman who hired them reported they were the only other people who had access to the valuable coins.
While Garren and Massman were suspected of the crime from early on, The Daily News reports that originally investigators lacked sufficient evidence to arrest the duo.
That all changed, however, when the couple allegedly started using the coins - again, at face value - to pay for things like movie dates and pizza.
According to The Daily News:
A Battle Ground movie theater reported earlier this month that, on Aug. 17, a man and woman matching the description of Garren and his girlfriend paid for their tickets with old coins from the 1930s. Police recovered five quarters from the theater, each worth between $5 and $68, according to the report.
But that was just the beginning.
More from The Daily News:
Then on Thursday police learned that, also on Aug. 17, a couple spent more rare coins at Rocky's Pizza in Battle Ground. One of the coins was a Liberty quarter worth between $1,100 and $18,500, police say.
That's some expensive pizza.
And some allegedly very dumb criminals.
The Daily News reports that a tipster enticed by a $1,000 reward being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case helped police crack it.
Garren was arrested Saturday and, as of publication of The Daily News story, was being held in Cowlitz County Jail with bail set at $40,000. Investigators have also requested charges for his girlfriend, Massman, though jail officials have declined to book and hold her at this time because she's nine months pregnant.