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Downtown Auburn coin store hit again in break-in

Third burglary reported at Lincoln Way shop in two months
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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For the third time in less than two months, Downtown Auburn’s Sirius Stamps & Treasures has been hit hard in a burglary.

Sid Raich, owner of the 32-year-old Auburn store, said that the break-in Thursday morning follows burglaries at the Lincoln Way business two weeks ago and in mid-February. The store is also known as Auburn Coins and Stamps.

Raich estimated losses of at least $80,000 in the three crimes. In the second burglary, the store’s safe was taken away, including a stack of vintage Mickey Mantle baseball cards and silver.

On Thursday, Raich was surveying the damage to a door and the ransacked interior. The store remained open and Raich said that he’s intending to continue doing business while looking at his options.

“They’ve ruined 32 years of my life,” Raich said, of the string of burglaries. Before this year, the business had suffered one previous break-in two years ago, he said.

In the first break-in this year, entry was gained through the backdoor and glass cabinets were “cleaned out,” Raich said.

The thieves brought a torch with them to crack the safe but left without it. A month later, Raich discovered in the morning a new break-in from the back door. This time, the 1,000-pound safe had been manhandled out the back door.

“I can’t imagine how they moved it,” Raich said.

While business has been slow on the retail end, Raich said he has been able to piece together a viable business the last few years buying and wholesaling gold and silver. In the meantime, he has continued to carry a store laden with collectible coins and sports cards.

The selection of merchandise lost in the three break-ins was esoteric and hard to find – everything from belt buckles made of silver dollars to a book of quarters in different grades to a Tiffany perfume bottle.

On a personal level, the first burglary left Raich without harmonicas given to him by his late wife and a patch he had designed while in the Navy in the 1950s for one of his ship’s cruises in the Mediterranean.

“The collection of stock took 32 years to accumulate,” Raich said. “The hours spent putting it together was the real loss. I can’t begin to do that again.”

Raich said the store had no alarm and after the third break-in cleaned out more valuable merchandise, there’s no reason to install one because there’s nothing left to take.

Auburn Police were at the store Thursday morning to investigate for any leads in the latest break-in but unavailable for comment.