Cops: Laborers Steal $1.2M in Hidden Gold

They found it buried at construction site in France, police say

By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 11, 2014 12:29 PM CDT

(Newser) – A secret stash of gold coins and bars is the stuff of fantasies. And when three construction workers found $1.2 million worth on the job in Normandy, police say stealing it from the landowner proved too tempting to resist. Several days into their work leveling land, the laborers found 16 gold bars and 600 gold coins from the 1920s buried in glass jars, perhaps during World War II, the BBC reports. Police say the men—ages 20, 33, and 40—sold the loot to a local coin collector, then bought cars and motorcycles and invested the money in their homes or life insurance policies.

But when one of the men deposited suspicious checks—one for $360,000 and the other for $40,000—into his bank account, tax officials perked up, Connexion reports. They contacted authorities, and the men reportedly 'fessed up. Their new toys have been seized, and they now face theft charges, while the coin collector is charged with trying to conceal the theft, reports the Local. The homeowner isn't saying much, telling local paper Paris Normandie: "Since the police called me to tell me what happened, I have found it hard to sleep." (Speaking of secret stashes, someone hid coins in a cave 2,000 years ago.)

  (Shutterstock)
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