Box of gold and silver returned to owner

March 12, 2013 at 1:47 PM
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UNIONTOWN, Ohio, March 12 (UPI) -- Police in Ohio said the owner of a coin and jewelry shop will not press charges after a cache of $50,000 in gold and silver was returned intact.

Uniontown Police Sgt. Michael Batchik said a box fell from the trunk of a car carrying merchandise from Hartville Coin & Jewelry to the post office Thursday and security cameras outside the business recorded the box being picked up by a man driving a Buick Rendezvous sport-utility vehicle, the Canton (Ohio) Repository reported Tuesday.

Batchik said the cameras got a glimpse of the man's face when he came to the door of the business before picking up the box and was turned away by employees who said the business was not yet opened.

Michael Swogger, 36, the man who picked up the box, said a friend recognized him when the security camera footage appeared on the news.

"My fiancee was with me when we picked it up. She said don't open it. She thought it was a bomb," Swogger said.

However, Swogger said he instead discovered gold Krugerrands, sovereign British gold coins, 75 Canadian silver dollars and more than 25 troy ounces of scrap gold inside the small box.

Swogger said police were understanding when he and his mother brought the coins to the station.

"I called the chief [Harold Britt] and told him I was," Swogger said. "I was at the police department by 7 a.m. and stood outside for 20 minutes. But we were in Hartville. We had to go to Uniontown. And the officers were very polite. I want to commend the chief for treating me like a human being. I told him I apologized and had intentions on returning it."

Batchik said Richard Frost, owner of Hartville Coin & Jewelry, declined to press charges because the box and its contents were intact.

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