Brinnon woman jailed in alleged theft of 48 gold coins

Posted 12/2/21

 

A Brinnon woman is facing felony counts of first-degree theft from a vulnerable adult and first-degree trafficking in stolen property after she allegedly stole 48 gold Krugerrand coins from …

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Brinnon woman jailed in alleged theft of 48 gold coins

Posted

 

A Brinnon woman is facing felony counts of first-degree theft from a vulnerable adult and first-degree trafficking in stolen property after she allegedly stole 48 gold Krugerrand coins from the 84-year-old man she’d been working for as a caregiver.

Yolanda Noreen Thole, 57, will be arraigned on the felony charges Friday in Jefferson County Superior Court.

Thole was booked into jail Wednesday, Nov. 24.

The theft of the Krugerrands — 1-ounce coins minted in South Africa that are predominantly purchased by gold investors — was reported to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in February.

The victim, a Brinnon resident, discovered four dozen Krugerrands were missing from the safe in his mobile home.

At the time of the theft, gold was worth $1,839 per ounce, putting the value of the theft at $88,272.

The man told a sheriff’s deputy he wasn’t sure when the coins were taken because they had been in his safe for years, but the person who stole them would have had the code.

He also said he had given two of his Krugerrands to Thole, because he was unable to cook for himself and needed help.

A deputy later contacted Thole, who confirmed getting just two of the coins from the victim.

As the investigation continued, a detective discovered Thole had allegedly sold numerous gold coins to Peninsula Precious Metals in Port Hadlock, and the owner of the business provided invoices showing Thole had been paid $53,859 during nine sales between January 2019 and March 2020.

The detective later found another check for $9,500 to Thole from a gold dealer in Sequim from December 2019.

When confronted by the sheriff’s detective, Thole denied getting more than two coins from the victim, but then allegedly started repeatedly changing her story when shown evidence she had sold coins to a local coin shop.

She claimed the victim’s wife had given her the coins before she died of cancer as payment of $88,000 for care for her husband, and said the man’s sister knew about it.

When contacted by a detective, the victim’s sister said she didn’t know anything about gold coins and that Thole had never said anything about her sister giving Thole anything.

A search of Thole’s bank account found a dozen transactions from the victim for more than $3,300 that appeared to be payment for groceries between January 2019 and October 2020.

Authorities allege Thole stole at least $63,359 worth of Krugerrands.

Thole made her first court appearance Monday.

Prosecuting Attorney James Kennedy asked Judge Keith Harper to set bail at $10,000 since the alleged offense involved the theft of tens of thousands of dollars of gold coins and that the victim was a vulnerable adult.

“I think that’s appropriate given the offense,” Kennedy said.

“We do have a lot of vulnerable adults in this community that I am concerned about,” he added.

Lillian Powers, an attorney with Jefferson Associated Counsel, noted the non-violent nature of the alleged offense and asked the judge to forgo bail and release Thole on her personal recognizance.

Harper, however, noted the amount of money that was involved as well as a lack of information about Thole’s connections to the community and the danger to other possible victims.

“The court believes that some bail is appropriate,” Harper said.

Bail was set at $1,000 cash or bond.

Conviction of first-degree theft from a vulnerable adult can result in a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

First-degree trafficking in stolen property carries a maximum sentence of
10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine upon conviction

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