New Castle News

Police Reports

May 1, 2014

Police looking for thief with big bills

SHARON — Which dead president is on a $1,000 bill? How about the $500 note?

The thief who stole one of each in Sharon knows the answer and police are looking for him or her, Chief Mike Menster said.

The large denomination bank notes were part of about $10,000 stolen from a Smith Avenue resident who reported the theft to police Saturday.

Someone had gotten into the elderly man’s home and took $10,300 in bank notes of various denominations from a locked box without forcing entry into either the house or the strong box, Menster said.

“We want local businesses and banks to be aware of the theft,” Menster said. “They should know that bills in those large denominations were stolen over the last six months.”

Grover Cleveland’s portrait is on the $1,000 bill and William McKinley is on the $500 note. Neither has been in circulation for decades because bank transfers of large amounts are made electronically these days.

High denomination bills are legal tender, but are of most interest to currency collectors. The Federal Reserve began taking them out of circulation in 1969 after an executive order by President Richard Nixon.

Online sources for antique currency dealers say the rarest notes, obviously, command the highest values.

The website antiquemoney.com values a “generic, lightly circulated” $500 note at $650 to $850, and a $1,000 note in similar condition at about $1,600.

Rare $500 notes in top condition can start at $1,500. The website said it once paid $20,000 for a rare $1,000 note.

Anyone with information about the theft can reach Sharon police at (724) 983-3210 or the county emergency operations center at (724) 662-6110.

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