Vault theft nets thousands in cash

Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON — Police are looking into the theft of nearly $20,000 cash — the entire amount in $1 bills — from a basement vault.

A 58-year-old man in the 2200 block of Ruskin Street told police he saved the dollar bills over many years, letting them pile up and wrapping $100 stacks that were kept in cardboard boxes stored in a cement-blocked vault.

The man said he went on vacation beginning May 23, and shortly before leaving he argued with a painting contractor over payment for work that the victim said was not completed. The man and his wife left for Chicago about a half hour after the argument.

The couple returned home on Memorial Day, and Tuesday morning noticed in the basement a hole had been knocked out of the cement vault housing, and the vault door was open. The boxes were emptied of currency, and an assortment of jewelry was also missing.

Investigating officers noted the screen and glass of a basement window had been removed and were to the side of the likely entry point.