Charges: Minnesota man stole $40K in gold coins from Wisconsin store

A Minnesota man accused of stealing more than $40,000 worth of gold coins from a store in Wisconsin has been charged. 

Travis Burrell, 37, of Brooklyn Park, is charged with felony retail theft in connection to the March 28 theft of 20 gold coins from Voecks' Fox Valley Coin and Diamonds Etc. in the Village of Kimberly, Wisconsin. He also faces a charge of possession of THC, the active component of marijuana.

Police in Minnesota are looking into the possibility he was also involved in a rash of thefts at stores across the Twin Cities in recent weeks.

According to court documents, police responded to a report of a theft at the store at 2:06 p.m. on March 28. Initial information stated the suspect, later identified as Burrell, stole 20 gold coins with a total purchase value of $43,018, and then fled in an SUV. 

During the incident, an armed security guard followed Burrell out the store and shot at the fleeing SUV but Burrell got away, charges said. 

Hours later, police conducted a traffic stop on the SUV. Burrell's girlfriend, who was in the SUV at the time it was pulled over, said she, Burrell and two children had gone to Wisconsin for a funeral and were staying at a nearby hotel, charges said. She said Burrell left the hotel that morning and was gone for several hours, returning at about 4 p.m., at which point the four of them left the hotel to head back to Minnesota and were subsequently pulled over.

However, Burrell told police he was in the area for the day "to make some money," charges said, noting he specifically looks for places that have gold coins and then melts them down to get rid of the serial numbers so he can sell the gold. 

Burrell also told police his friend was the one who actually stole the coins and he’s the one who drove off but the friend had dropped the gold coins in the parking lot, charges allege. 

 Burrell’s bail was set at $20,000.