Rooftop burglar gets away with $30K in rare coins

Rooftop burglar gets away with $30K in rare coins »Play Video
TACOMA, Wash. -- Police are looking for the rooftop burglar who sawed his way into a Tacoma shop and made off with more than $30,000 in rare coins.

Crews are now patching the hole in Freighthouse Square, where an industrious burglar recently cut his way into the American Rare Coins and Collectibles shop.

"I just thought, 'Oh my god, oh my god, that's my whole life,'" said owner Ray Brandt. "Everything I own is in this store."

The burglar tied a rope to a satellite dish, dropped through a hole in the roof and shimmied his way down into the coin store.

Surveillance footage shows the crook running toward the shop's showcases early Sunday morning.

"First thing going through my mind is, I'm out at least $100,000, maybe even more," Brandt said.

The brazen burglar raced directly to the rare coins room where Brandt only allows regulars. He hopped onto a counter and grabbed a bag, leaving fingerprints behind for detectives to lift.

"He's just pulling the trays out, loading them in bags real fast. He gets what wants out of that showcase, goes to the next and the next again," Brandt said.

The store's alarm altered police to the break in, and their sirens appeared to spook the burglar.

"Something stopped him from getting any more because he just stopped dead in his tracks in the middle of running, and then he backtracks and goes up the rope," Brandt said.

But in his haste to escape, the burglar dropped half of his stolen stash on the roof. The coins range from a hundred dollars to a couple thousand a piece, according to Brandt.

The burglar also left behind a rope, tools and a glove, and police later found the other glove on a nearby railroad track.

He may have gotten away with more than $30,000 in coins, but Brandt is convinced the thief won't get far.

"I've got a good alarm system, I've got great video and he broke into the wrong store," he said.

Tacoma police say this was the second rooftop break in in the past month.