The stars of a reality TV show set in a Las Vegas pawn shop have melted a customer’s $50,000 coin collection after it was stolen, it has been reported.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the State of Nevada, the coin collection of David Walters was stolen from his home in November by his niece, Jennifer Beckman.
It is alleged Ms Beckman took the collection, which includes a rare 1903 St. Gaudens $20 gold piece and silver Morgan coins from the 1880s, to the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, featured in popular History Channel TV series ‘Pawn Stars’.
ABC reports that a Detective Watkins of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says in a deposition filed with the complaint that Beckman received $12,375 over three visits.
Mr Walters did not notice the coins were gone until November 27 and in early December the detective says he contacted Gold & Silver so they could be returned to Mr Walters – but they were already gone.
Under Nevada law, customers must present identification, and every item sold to a pawn shop must be entered into a database for police to see.
Shops must hold items for 30 to 90 days so owners can buy them back and police have time to highlight stolen goods. However, coins that are not part of jewellery are an exception to this rule.
Silver & Gold’s spokesperson, Laura Herlovich said coins are usually in plastic cases with a value already assigned to them by an expert.
She added: ‘If the grader is not someone we trust, the cases are cracked open and the coins are sent out to be melted down.
‘That was the case here. I don’t know for sure, but I believe a majority were melted down. They weren’t worth what he [Walters] thought they were worth.’