Money Matters - Simplified


Stolen coin back at store within hours

Vero Beach, Fla. -- Police in Florida said a $9,000 coin stolen from an antique store was brought back within a few hours by someone who purchased it from the alleged thief.

Police said Christopher William Saunders, 27, of Vero Beach, took the coin from the West Bay Trading Company in Vero Beach while selling some coins at the business Friday and sold it for $167 that same day to Gold Coast Antiques, reported Thursday.

The antique store owner took the coin to West Bay Trading Company for a resale and the owner of that store recognized it as coming from the Luz, a Spanish treasure vessel that sank in 1752.

Illinois police warn of boa on the loose

Maroa, Ill. -- Authorities in an Illinois town are warning residents to be on the lookout for an escaped or stolen 9-foot boa constrictor.

Maroa Police Chief Brad Wilkey said the owner of the 30-pound snake discovered it missing Monday and reported it Tuesday to police, who have been unable to determine whether it escaped from its cage or if it was stolen, the Decatur Herald & Review reported Friday.

"We're trying to let the public know to be cautious," Wilkey said. "If you see it, contact the police. Don't try to do anything yourself."

Man allegedly stole from Facebook friend

Jeffersontown, Ky. -- Police in Jeffersontown, Ky., say a man charged with burglary robbed a woman he befriended on Facebook who posted the news she was going to a concert.

Shaun South, 31, of New Albany, Ind., was arrested Wednesday, the Jeffersonville (Ind.) Evening News reported. He faces charges that include burglary and theft.

Keri McMullen of New Albany said she and South, who lived in the same neighborhood as children, had been Facebook friends for about six months before the burglary in March. After she posted the information she and her fiancee planned to attend a concert March 21, two men broke in and removed their television, computers and other electronic equipment.

French police seek escaped gators

Pierrelatte, France -- Police in France said a pair of alligators they previously believed were stolen from a private zoo likely escaped instead.

Drome province police said the alligators, which went missing from a private crocodile farm near the town of Pierrelatte, were initially believed to have been stolen in late July, but recent evidence suggests they merely escaped, Radio France Internationale reported Tuesday.

"Traces of their presence were found, and we now have hope to find them," a police spokesman said.

The spokesman said the alligators do not pose a risk to humans.

Ice cream truck owner replaces stolen bike

Detroit -- The owner of a Detroit ice cream truck said giving $1,000 and free ice cream to a 9-year-old whose bike was stolen was the right thing to do.

Detroit police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens said someone stole Zachary Long's bike while he was buying ice cream from the truck in front of his house, the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday.

Police said they suspect someone from the truck was behind the bike theft.
The boy's father, Emmett Long III, said the family pooled money to replace the bike.

"We had dealt with the problem," the father said. "The crisis had passed."

County gives up on stolen street signs

Xenia, Ohio -- Officials in an Ohio county said they have given up replacing Wildman Road street signs due to frequent theft.

Greene County Engineer Robert Geyer said his office has stopped replacing the signs on the rural road because they last less than 24 hours before they are stolen, the Dayton Daily News reported Thursday.

"You could put it up today and it'd be gone tomorrow," Geyer said. "It's out in the boonies and easy to steal."

Geyer said his office spends thousands of dollars each year replacing stolen or destroyed street signs. The engineer said he believes most of the signs end up as decorations in garages, bedrooms and dorm rooms.

$2.5M sought in stolen Cubs tickets suit

Northbrook, Ill. -- An Illinois man is asking a court to award him $2.5 million from his son, who he says stole Chicago Cubs season tickets for 2007 through this year.

Gerald Adelman of Northbrook said he received the tickets in 1993 from the son of a client. Adelman said his son, Stuart, handled the purchase of the tickets each year, using money supplied by his father, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Adelman's Cook County Circuit Court lawsuit, filed Wednesday, says Stuart Adelman refused to give up the tickets when he left his father's insurance firm, Gerald Adelman and Associates, in 2007.

Stolen Elvis statue found in cemetery

Rosedale, Md. -- A 6-foot-tall fiberglass statue stolen from a Maryland diner was found a few miles away leaning up against angel statues in a cemetery, nearby residents say.

George Kropkowski, who lives near the Gardens of Faith Cemetery in Baltimore, said he recognized the statue that appeared early Tuesday morning because his son, Steve, sells uniforms to the Happy Day Diner in Rosedale, where Elvis was stolen from the roof about 2 weeks ago, The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday.

Dimitrios Pigiaditis, who owns the diner with wife Maria, said Elvis is in relatively good shape, save for missing its microphone and damage to its foot apparently incurred when the statue was stolen.

"I would like the police to find out who did it and why," Pigiaditis said.

Gizmodo, Gawker to cooperate with authorities investigating stolen iPhone prototype

According to several media reports on Friday, Gizmodo, its parent company Gawker Media and Editor Jason Chen has agreed to fully cooperate with the authorities investigating the stolen iPhone 4 prototype case.

30-year-old Macaw stolen from home

Hialeah, Fla. -- A Florida woman is pleading for the return of her stolen "son," a 30-year-old Macaw parrot she has owned since it was less than a year old.

Charlene Bradley said Jack, a blue and yellow bird worth thousands of dollars, was stolen from her Hialeah home at about 1 p.m. Wednesday by a thief who threw a towel over the bird to keep it from resisting and fled with her beloved pet in a truck, WSVN-TV, Miami-Fort Laudersale, Fla., reported Friday.

Bradley said her roommate, Michael Costa, heard the bird's screams and attempted to give chase upon spotting the fleeing thief, but he quickly lost the trail.