Homeowner estimated $20,000 in coins were stolen from his safe, but it was much more

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A Lynden homeowner’s estimate that a burglar stole $20,000 to $30,000 in gold coins out of his safe while he was out of town turned out to be just a fraction of what was taken.

After receiving a warrant to search a truck owned by Vasilios Macris, 33, and the motor home he was living in, Lynden police found 115 gold coins worth approximately $250,000, according to a department press release. Suspected heroin, drug paraphernalia and burglary tools also were discovered during the search, as was a gun that also was stolen from the Lynden home.

As previously reported in The Bellingham Herald, Macris was booked into Whatcom County Jail Aug. 13 on suspicion of first-degree theft, first-degree possession of stolen property, first-degree burglary, theft of a firearm, third-degree malicious mischief and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jail records show Macris is being held in lieu of $10,000 bail.

According to information provided to The Bellingham Herald by Lt. Jeremy Bos, police were notified on Aug. 12 by a homeowner in the 8600 block of Depot Road that he returned home and noticed “something amiss in the house.”

It was those missing gold coins that led police to suspect Macris, Bos said, as they searched pawnshops to see if any of the coins had been pawned.

“We were able to catch up with a gentleman (Macris) that pawned the coin, and there was evidence linking him to the residence,” Bos said.

With the help of Bellingham police, Macris was arrested after he attempted to pawn six more gold coins, according to the release.

Bos said the homeowner was unable to gain full access to the safe after the burglary because of the damage it sustained during the burglary. His original estimate was based on what he believed could have been accessible through what Bos described as a “small access point,” but police now believe the thief was able to access more coins.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.