We enjoyed the newspaper report concerning the 1858 Philadelphia Mint robbery mentioned in last Sunday's Esylum. We found it an interesting story, and checked further into our resources for more information and found the attached from the Philadelphia North American Newspaper of the 19th of August 1858 entitled Robbery at the Philadelphia Mint.
The United States Mint, in this city, was yesterday morning visited by three gentlemanly looking strangers, who, while making a tour of the institution, succeeded in robbing the cabinet of rare coins, which are preserved as an object of a special interest and value.
The strangers succeeded in abstracting two $50 Gold pieces, one slug worth $40, four $20 gold pieces, one $20 California gold coin, and one $25 gold piece. The scamps affected the robbery by means of a false key, with which they unlocked the cabinet during the momentary absence of the attendant.
The robbery was discovered soon after the strangers had left. Information of the fact and a description of the thieves was left at the Recorder.s Office. Officers were at once set upon the watch, and, a short time afterwards, one of the thieves was found at the store of Messrs. Charpless and Brothers, endeavoring to pass off one of the stolen coins. The coin, being somewhat unique, was taken by the clerk to a broker.s office, in order that its genuineness might be place beyond a doubt. The broker, fortunately, had heard of the robbery, and pronounced the coin in question to be a part of the avails of that affair.
A few minutes afterward another of the party of thieves entered a store near Eighth and Chestnut Streets, and desired change for another of the stolen coins. The unusual character of the coin, being also a subject of remark, suspicion was excited, and both the adroit scamps were soon placed under lock and key. They gave their names as Charles Morris, and Charles Mervine.
The robbery was a bold one, and must have been preconceived for some time. It is probable that on a former visit an impression of the lock was taken in wax, and that a key to fit it was prepared at leisure. That it fitted the lock with accuracy is manifested from the very brief space of time required to accomplish the opening of the cabinet and the abstraction of the golden contents. They were identified as having formerly visited the institution.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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