Burglars who broke into MJC Coins at the weekend may have been stealing to order – with the target being one of the world’s rarest bronze coins, believes owner Mike Crew.
Despite the thieves also taking a Chubb safe holding around £10,000 in gold sovereigns Mike says that the Excelsior coin, dated New York 1787, could actually have been the prize they wanted.
“The only other example I know the whereabouts of is in the American Numismatic Museum and there hasn’t been one sold at auction for around 10 years, so it’s very hard to estimate the value,” said Mike.
“It’s been prominent on our new website and it’s not inconceivable that an unscrupulous collector saw it and said to the criminals ‘I want that. Go get it.’.”
The raid seems to have happened in the early hours of Saturday morning. CCTV cameras at the reear of the Co-Op appear to show a van or large car in the car park behind MJC’s premises in South St at around 3am.
What is clear, says Mike, is that the criminals had a precise shopping list. Other items worth thousands of pounds were ignored, including rare white £5 notes and a sack of silver coins. He also thinks there was inside knowledge involved.
“Whoever it was knew roughly what was on the premises and how to get in and how to get out.” said Mike, whose other business is MJC Financial Services Ltd.