Sheriff: $400,000 in stolen coins recovered

Posted at 9:24 AM, Sep 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-26 11:24:56-04

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    OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WALA) — Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Investigators not only solved the mystery of who stole $400,000 worth of silver coins from a safe at a Crestview area home, but recovered most of the money as well.

Stephen Aaron Barnes, 37, of Destin is now charged with grand theft over $100,000.

Investigators say he took the coins from a safe at his mother’s home and buried them in three different locations on the property.

According to officials, the money was to be part of Barnes’ mother’s divorce settlement, but when the victim went to retrieve the money August 30th, he was unable to get into the safe and had to call a locksmith.

Once the safe was opened, he found the coins missing. A rifle was also gone. The victim told investigators he had last seen the items during a visit in November 2017. He added that his estranged wife was to receive the coins – or be given a check for what they were worth.

Brenda Barnes told deputies she did not know what happened to the money. Her son, Stephen Aaron Barnes, was developed as a suspect and later confessed to taking the coins, saying he was mad at the victim for all the suffering he had caused his mother during the couple’s on-going divorce proceedings.

He said he buried the coins in three different locations on the property. Investigators were able to dig up and retrieve nearly all the boxes of one dollar silver coins on September 30th. The investigation continues.

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