Worker charged in reported theft of $18,640 in coins

A worker is charged in the reported theft of $18,640 worth of silver coins from a Burnsville home.

Matthew Grant Pillar, 23, of St. Paul, is charged with one count of felony theft over $5,000. He pawned some of the coins at Pawn America in Burnsville.

The homeowner said she discovered the missing coins on Feb. 14, when she returned home after staying in a hotel while a restoration company repaired water damage in the home. She’d been staying in the hotel since Feb. 4, according to the criminal complaint.

She told police there were 25 sleeves of coins hidden under some blankets when she left her home, and that each sleeve was worth $754.40.

Police got the names of restoration-company employees who’d worked on the home. A cross-check of automated pawnshop records showed that Pillar had pawned two sleeves of coins matching the stolen coins’ description on Feb. 27, the complaint said.

Pawn America verified the transaction, providing records and video. A Pawn America employee told police that Pillar had said he had “20 more sleeves” to sell, the complaint said.

Police served a search warrant at the address on his driver’s license and pawn records, which is where his parents live. They confirmed it was him in the Pawn America video, the complaint said.

Pillar turned himself in to St. Paul police on March 18. Questioned by Burnsville police, he admitted to taking five sleeves of coins from the home but said he didn’t see any others there.