Casper Coin Shop Owner Accused Of Faking Theft Of $100,000 Collection

A Casper coin shop owner has been accused of conspiring with a convicted burglar to fake the theft of a coin collection worth up to $100,000 he was appraising for a client.

Dale Killingbeck

April 11, 20246 min read

Justin Wayne Foster, owner of Colonial Coins and Currency, is accused of faking a robbery to steal a coin collection worth between $80,000 and $100,000.
Justin Wayne Foster, owner of Colonial Coins and Currency, is accused of faking a robbery to steal a coin collection worth between $80,000 and $100,000. (Dale Killingbeck, Cowboy State Daily)

The affidavit in Casper Circuit Court reads like a script from a television cop show.

In the opening scene, a coin shop owner returns home and finds up to $100,000 worth of coins that were in a milk crate in his living room missing. He was appraising them for a client.

The shop owner calls police and tells them neighbors saw a maroon car in the area.

Meanwhile, the owner of the coins hires private detective to find out where his collection went. The private eye somehow IDs a suspect, a known burglar, through evidence discovered in a trash can.

But the suspect spills beans and says whole thing was a set-up by the coin shop owner, who denies knowing known burglar, but phone records confirm the burglar and coin shop owner had been talking.

While this narrative would make a good show, it would have to be true crime because it’s also what Casper Circuit Court records show in a case against Justin Wayne Foster, 35, owner of Colonial Coins and Currency in Casper.

The felony charges related to an alleged fake robbery in January of a client’s collection of coins valued between $80,000 to $100,000.

Court documents dated Tuesday also show a warrant has been issued for Foster’s arrest on suspicion of conspiracy to commit theft and false reporting.

The Call

An arrest affidavit on file unfolds a police investigation that began Jan. 8 after Foster called the Casper Police Department about 4:45 p.m. to report a milk crate full of Morgan dollars, silver coins, gold and other valuable coins missing from his living room.

He told police they had been there for a week as he appraised the value of the coins for a client.

A responding officer was given a photo of the crate of coins in the background of a family member shot with a time stamp of 3:13 p.m. Jan. 7. The officer noticed firearms, ammunition, jars of quarters remained at the residence and found tire tracks in an alleyway, the affidavit states.

Foster called police later that evening to say he had spoken with neighbors, who reported they had no cameras pointed to the alley, but did see a maroon car.

The affidavit states that the next day, Foster provided police with a screenshot of a video of the vehicle he said he received from a resident, but was unable to provide a name of where he obtained the video.

On Jan. 10, the affidavit states a CPD detective was assigned to the case and given more video by Foster from a residence near his home. The video showed a maroon car traveling westbound on 15th Street at 10:43 a.m. and eastbound on the same street at 10:54 a.m. on Jan. 8. Video from a nearby elementary school confirmed the video supplied by Foster.

The PI

The next day, Jan. 11, the affidavit states police learned the owner of the coins being appraised by Foster had hired a private detective to investigate.

On Jan. 16, the private investigator informed police he planned to do a “trash pull” at a Mills residence of a person on parole and known to police to have burglary convictions in 2022 and 2023.

During the trash pull, police and the investigator found Professional Coin Submission paperwork in the trash with the Mills man’s name and a submitted coin description for a Morgan silver dollar, the affidavit states.

A search warrant was obtained for the Mills residence Jan. 17 and nothing was found, but the girlfriend of the burglar allegedly asked police if the coins were returned, if her boyfriend would still be charged. The same day police interviewed Foster about his finances, and he consented to a search of his home for the coins, vehicle and coin shop.

Nothing was found, the affidavit states.

On Jan. 20, the private investigator called the CPD detective and handed the phone to the owner of the coins who requested the case be dropped, that the coins had been recovered.

The affidavit states a short time later the detective received a call from the private investigator who stated they had gotten the coins from the Mills man, and the Mills man had stated that he knew Foster and that Foster had told him that “the coins would be at his house and it would be a 5-minute job.”

The private investigator said his client wanted to pursue charges against Foster, and that in a conversation with Foster the coin shop owner admitted to the private investigator that “he told the (Mills man) he was taking the coins home to appraise.”

The Denial

During a subsequent police interview with Foster, he denied being part of the theft or knowing the Mills man.

Foster consented to a search of his phone, and a subsequent download of his phone on Feb. 13 found “a missed call” from the Mills man to Foster and a photo of the Mills man and his girlfriend. The download also found a news article about the Mills man’s involvement in burglaries, the affidavit states.

The phone also yielded information that Foster had searched Google about “polygraph questions” after Foster agreed to do a polygraph exam, but “Foster never showed to do the test,” the affidavit states.

During a police interview with the Mills man Feb. 15, he told police that he knew Foster and bought coins at his shop and “would stay for extended periods of time and chat with him.” He told police that Foster had told him he was doing the coin appraisal, the affidavit states.

The Mills man said Foster told him during a phone conversation Jan. 5 that the garage door to his house would be unlocked and the house empty between 10 and 11 a.m. on Jan. 8, the affidavit states.

Waiting For Contact

The burglar told police he parked in the alley, walked into a side garage door, found the crate of coins and took them to an unknowing relative’s home, the affidavit states.

After that, he “did not speak to Foster or go back to Foster’s shop since the coins were taken and was waiting for Foster to contact him to decide what to do with the coins,” the affidavit states.

In the affidavit, the Casper police detective noted that in addition to the Mills man’s statements to police about the alleged conspiracy, the following facts showed probable cause to bring charges:

  • Other valuable items were not stolen from Foster’s house.

  • Foster told police he did not know how the person gained entry.

  • That the car in the neighborhood belonged to an acquaintance.

  • Foster denied knowing the Mills man.

The conspiracy to commit theft charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine or both. The false reporting charge is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Dale Killingbeck can be reached at

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Dale Killingbeck