More proof that life is even harder when you’re stupid


One occasionally hears of criminals who pull off deeds so brilliant that it leaves one wondering why they simply didn’t pursue a more honest line of work. These sorts obviously possess the vision, ingenuity and resourcefulness always in demand in the business world.

Then you have individuals such as Robert Napolitan of Scott Township, Pa.

Police in nearby Taylor, just outside Scranton, have accused the 34-year-old with taking a steel drum filled with 300,000 pennies from a trucking company.

A criminal complaint says he loaded the drum, which weighed 1,600 pounds, onto a hand truck at the company last week and rolled it to his Jeep.

Robert Napolitan of Scott Township, Pa. Not exactly Ronnie Biggs.

Robert Napolitan of Scott Township, Pa. Not exactly Ronnie Biggs.

“Mr. Napolitan had a key to the building’s back door and informed a company dispatcher he would be there late at night during the Labor Day holiday weekend to remove parts from a disabled Dodge Durango,” according to the Scranton Times-Tribune. “Security camera footage captured his white Jeep Cherokee pulling in at 2:30 a.m. Monday but did not show he worked on the Dodge.”

Tracks through the dust and a trail of pennies marked Napolitan’s path, according to a police affidavit.

Police searched his Jeep and found 89 pennies underneath the seats and floor mats.

Police say Napolitan admitted to taking the drum and its $3,000 in contents.

One supposes that rather than spend the next 225 years rolling the pennies into paper sleeves, Napolitan would likely have taken the coins to a smelter and tried to cash them in for their metallic value. However, when it comes to “less-gifted” lawbreakers, one never knows.

For his trouble, Napolitan was jailed in Lackawanna County in lieu of $50,000 bail.

6 thoughts on “More proof that life is even harder when you’re stupid

  1. beginning in 1982 Pennies have a zink core and are only 2 1/2% copper so meling down was no longer a option.I have a metal detector that descriminates between copper and zinc pennies, so you don’t bother with the ones minted after 1982.

  2. I suspect that if/when the electronic and paper currency crash, coins of any persuasion will escalate in buying power. I save spare change, including pennies, because zinc, too, has metal and artistic value.

    Also, it’s harder to steal coins, despite the above post, and they don’t burn in a fire. Last I checked, nickels, with high copper content, are more valuable than five cents, according to the copper prices on the commodities exchange. The metal in pennies is also more valuable than one cent.

    These values are in constant flux, because of the instability of our economic system, but coins are the exchange of the common man.

    • Nickels, I know, are worth more than 5 cents, which will likely mean we will see the metallic content changed or the nickel and penny phased out. You can’t run a fiat currency system when your coinage has tangible value.

      • Righto. The government tried to disappear the penny in 2007, I believe, which would make the existing ones more valuable. That’s another good reason to save coins.

        Creature from Jekyll Island goes into the history of money and how kings and governments historically have debased the coinage when they get into debt, sort of like “quantitative easing” debased the dollar.

        “Monetize the debt” (i.e. “Print money” is another euphemism to devalue the dollar so debt can be payed off in less valuable money.

        Social Security recipients, for instance, will receive less valuable dollars than they invested, if they get paid at all.

        The Constitution gave the federal government a monopoly on the money supply. It also gave the government the authority (but not the right) to go into debt. Those are two provisions that need to be re-examined.

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