While New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was busy playing in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 5, suspects were busy burglarizing his home, which he shared with three other individuals. The suspects stole safes, guns and jewelry, as well as two proof Morgan dollars.
Police in Foxborough, Massachusetts, investigating the nighttime burglary had no definitive leads until March 2, when the Numismatic Crime Information Center (NCIC) shared a tip obtained through its extensive network.
The NCIC received an email on Feb. 24 from Dave McConaghy, owner of New England Coin Exchange, who advised a high-profile client had been the recent victim of a burglary.
"Mr. McConaghy identified Mr. Gronkowski and other members of the household as victims and requested our assistance in possibly sending out an alert, since he was able to provide certification numbers on the two coins," said Doug Davis, NCIC Founder and President.
"Since news reports did not mention that coins were stolen from the Gronkowski residence, I felt that the two proof dollars may raise a red flag if an alert was sent to our network and other investigative resources, even though the offense was almost a month old," Davis said.
While attending the Professional Currency Dealers Association on March 2 in Chicago, NCIC issued an alert on the Gronkowski offense.
"Within 30 minutes of sending out the alert I received a call from PNG dealer Dave Pepe, owner of Pilgrim Coin & Currency of Weymouth, Massachusetts, who advised he had the coins and the identity of the person who sold them," Davis said.
After verifying the certification numbers, NCIC contacted detectives with the Foxborough Police Department and provided them with the lead and descriptions of the suspects.
For the next several days, NCIC remained in contact with Foxborough Police detectives who aggressively pursued the new lead. Based on the information provided by the NCIC, Foxborough Police Department issued a search warrant for the home of Anthony Almeida, of Randolph, Massachusetts.
The investigation resulted in Almeida’s arrest for breaking and entering, two counts of receiving stolen property and malicious destruction of property. Warrants also were issued for Shayne Denn, of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, and Eric Tyrell, of Foxboro, Massachusetts. Tyrell was identified as the individual who sold the two proof Morgan dollars.
"The successful resolution to this case would not have been possible without the cooperation and collaboration of McConaghy, Pepe, NCIC and the outstanding investigation by the Foxborough Police Department," Davis said.
The NCIC’s crime alert network and investigative resources are dedicated to making a difference in the fight against numismatic crimes. The center’s resources are available to dealers, collectors and law enforcement and offense reports may be reported 24 hours per day, seven days a week, through a special form on the center’s website.
The Numismatic Crime Information Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and supported entirely by donations from the Numismatic Community. All donations are tax deductible. NCIC P.O. Box 14080 Arlington, Texas 76094-0181.