Thief rips rare coin necklace from Cape Coral retiree's neck

Colleen Hogan

Thief rips rare coin necklace from Cape Coral retiree's neck

CREATED Jan. 24, 2013 - UPDATED: Jan. 24, 2013

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A rare Spanish coin from the 1700's was brutally snatched from a Cape Coral senior citizen a few weeks back. Now Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is hoping the suspect can be found along with this valuable necklace.

Cape Coral police report the incident happened on Saturday, January 12 around noon.

"This happened on a Saturday afternoon, middle of the day, right on Del Prado," SWFl Crimestoppers rep Trish Routte said. "There's a lot of people in the area at that time. It's also near a Lee Tran bus stop."

A man, age 81, was sitting in his concept convertible Chevy truck near the 4500 block of Del Prado Boulevard when a white male in his 30's approached him and asked him for the time.  When the victim looked down the suspect ripped off the man's necklace and got away, running down an alley.

The thief likely didn't realize the value of the rare necklace made with heavy gauge rope valued at roughly $3,500. 

"This was a one of a kind, very, very special thing," Routte said. "It has a tremendous financial value and also a sentimental value."

On it was a rare 24 karat gold Spanish coin from 1715.  The charm was made by a Sanibel artist in 1996 and is valued in today's money in the range of $20,000.

The suspect is described as being over 6 feet tall, with an average build.  Anyone with information on his identity or may have seen something suspicious around the time of the crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).  All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.