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2 million dimes, worth $200,000, stolen from Philadelphia truck: police

Coin caper: Thousands of dollars worth of dimes stolen from truck in Northeast Philadelphia
Coin caper: Thousands of dollars worth of dimes stolen from truck in Northeast Philadelphia 02:34

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Police have updated their estimate on a theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of dimes stolen from a parked truck in Northeast Philadelphia Thursday morning.

They now say about $200,000 worth of dimes, or 2 million dime coins, was taken from the truck.

In the case of dimes and dash, they say a trailer containing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of dimes was broken into overnight inside a Walmart parking lot in the 4300 block of Byberry Road in Northeast Philadelphia just after 6 a.m. Thursday. 

According to police, the truck had about $750,000 in dimes in it on 15 pallets - $50,000 per pallet.

Thieves got into 5 pallets and haphazardly removed the coins, spilling the coins around the truck and lot as they removed them from bags.

$100,000 in dimes stolen from truck parked at Philadelphia Mills 01:50

Investigators first estimated at least $100,000 was stolen. Friday, that estimate grew to $200,000.

The truck was headed to the mint in Miami, Florida from the Philadelphia Mint located in Old City.

Police said the driver picked up the coins from the mint in Old City Wednesday and drove to the Northeast where he lives. 

Authorities said he parked the trailer in the parking lot and went home to get rest. It's not clear if he'll face charges, but another driver said that's not common practice to leave a trailer unattended.

"With me, I can drop it off. That's what I'm supposed to do. But I drop it off in the store for them in the driveway, but you're not supposed to leave it unattended, no," that driver said.

Chopper 3 video showed dimes scattered across the Walmart parking lot near Woodhaven Road.

CBS News Philadelphia

Police are looking for a group of "10 or more males" wearing black clothing. They are also looking for a white Chrysler 300 pickup truck with tinted windows.

Police said they don't believe the driver was targeted, and he was interviewed by detectives. But said while the details of this case are bizarre, cargo thefts are common. 

"There's been a lot of cargo thefts here and there in Northeast Philly and South Philadelphia over the ensuing months where we've had lamb, chicken, TVs, refrigerators, etc. taken, alcohol," Capt. John Ryan said.

It took crews hours to clean up the mess and rightfully so --  with $750,000 worth of dimes in that track there are perhaps 7.5 million coins to clean up.

According to the U.S. Mint website, a dime weighs 2.268 grams. So if 2 million dimes were stolen, that equals about 10,000 pounds or five tons of weight.

"That's a lot of labor too, moving that amount of weight," Ryan said.

The heist gave the neighborhood a rude awakening.

"I heard the helicopters, so I looked out of the window and saw everything blocked off and I was like what is possibly going on?" Jasmine Waters said. 

"I think it's unbelievable," Katherine Piluso said. "They'll steal anything nowadays. It's crazy. Nothing is safe." 

Police are now combing through surveillance video in an attempt to find who may have broken into the trailer.

No one has been arrested.

The investigation is ongoing.

Dimes and dash: Police investigating dime theft in Northeast Philadelphia 02:06
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