Florida police: Stolen rare coins ended up in change machines

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Shane Mele

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NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. – Authorities say 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 reports 40-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 that totaled approximately 350,000.

The coins were worth $33,000. A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office arrest report says 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 Feb. 1 with grand theft along with unrelated drug charges. He was released Feb. 4 after posting bond. Jail records didn’t show whether he had an attorney.

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