Couple swipes gold coins from Portage shop

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — Portage public safety officers are looking for a couple who stole more than $10,000 worth of gold coins from a store.

Detectives say the crime happened Monday around 2:25 p.m. at Scott’s Sports Cards and Jewelry on S. Westnedge Avenue at Schuring Road.

Investigators say the pair asked a store worker to show them several gold and silver coins. At that point, the man grabbed the employee’s attention by showing him his watch, then having him package other coins detectives say the couple never planned to buy.

While the man was distracting the store worker, the woman pocketed American eagle gold coins, each valued at $1,500. The couple eventually left the store together.

Scott Hocevar, who owns the collectibles shop, said he has never seen anything like it in his more than 40 years in the business.

“It was kind of elaborate how it worked,” he said. “But basically, we had a handful of coins out and we thought we knew exactly what we had out. It was kind of elaborate how it kind of got sorted out, but in the end when they walked out, we did inventory and we were a handful of coins short, and they were already gone at that point.”

Detectives say the suspects were last seen getting into a newer black GMC or Chevrolet Tahoe-style vehicle that was parked at an adjacent business.

Investigators say both suspects are short with a medium build, Hispanic and between the ages of 30 and 35 years old. The woman also has long black hair, which was pulled back in a ponytail at the time of the crime. The man had short black hair, a goatee and was wearing a gold watch.

Anyone with information in this case is encouraged to contact the Portage Department of Public Safety at 269.329.4567 or Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.

—24 Hour News 8’s Brady Gillum contributed to this report.

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