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Police: Men steal 7,000 pennies to buy drugs

By By Courtney Zieller, Kaitlyn Naples
Published On: Jun 19 2014 09:01:01 AM CDT
pile of pennies coins penny
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WFSB) -

Two Middletown men carried more than 7,000 pennies into a grocery store to be cashed in, but they are accused of stealing most of those pennies from a family member.

The 7,000 pennies turned out to weigh nearly 40 pounds, and police said when the two men cashed in the coins, they went straight to a drug dealer to buy heroin.

Police arrested 46-year-old Ramon Rivera and 43-year-old Hector Sampel, and the pennies were reportedly stolen from Sampel's mother-in-law.

Police said Rivera cashed in the change for about $65, and Sampel's mother-in-law said when she got home around 1:30 p.m., her back door was broken and the only thing missing was two large piggy banks full of change she said were worth about $400.

Neighbor Amanda Collins said the area is usually pretty quiet.

"It is odd. They must have known it was there," she said.

The men reportedly put 7,095 pennies, a $1 bill, six dimes and five nickels into the machine.

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