Sheriff’s decision is a coin toss



ON TOP OF IT—Lisa Lenk, left, keeps a close eye on the inventory at Goldcoast Coin Exchange in Agoura Hills.

ON TOP OF IT—Lisa Lenk, left, keeps a close eye on the inventory at Goldcoast Coin Exchange in Agoura Hills.

A woman who deputies arrested March 17 for trying to sell what was thought to be a stolen coin collection worth $5,000 to a store owner in Agoura Hills turned out to be not guilty after all.

When 25-year-old Olivia Curran of Los Angeles brought a collection of coins and stamps into Goldcoast Coin Exchange in Agoura Hills and tried to sell them to Lisa Lenk, the owner of the store, Lenk recalled seeing a report two days earlier in The Acorn about the theft of a similar collection from a home on Twin Lake Ridge in Westlake Village.

In the Westlake robbery, a thief smashed the rear sliding glass door of a home and stole a suitcase containing the valuables.

Lenk remembered The Acorn Sheriff’s Blotter report and surmised that Curran—who seemed nervous upon entering the store and didn’t fit the profile of a typical collector seeking an appraisal and sale—might have been the culprit in the March 2 Westlake robbery.

Curran told Lenk she was selling the coins and stamps at the request of her boyfriend.

“I gave it a quick eyeball and thought this could very easily be $5,000 worth of stuff in a suitcase,” Lenk said.

While Lenk stalled Curran, her assistant called the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Department to alert them of the possible fencing operation and to see if the goods stolen in the Westlake robbery matched the collection that was brought to her store.

Not sure if the items were the same, Lenk contemplated her next move.

“If I don’t know that they were stolen, I can’t do a citizen’s arrest, but on the other hand I don’t want anything to do with it. The (items) might be hot.”

Deputies arrived within minutes and put Curran, who reportedly had prior arrests on her record, into handcuffs.

“She was arrested for receiving stolen property because her story didn’t seem like it was legitimate,” said Det. Tom Lewis of the Lost Hills station.

Case solved.

Or was it?

While Curran was later released on bail, Lewis continued his investigation.

Remember Curran saying she was selling the goods for her boyfriend in what seemed to be a dubious explanation at the Goldcoast Coin store?

It turns out Curran was telling the truth, Lewis said.

While it appeared that the victim in the Westlake crime was initially able to describe items in the collection brought in by Curran’s boyfriend, Lewis determined that the two collections were in fact different.

The detective said Curran’s boyfriend was not in violation of the law by tr y ing to sell coins and stamps that were legitimately given to him by his parents. The man’s name was not released.

“I firmly believe it was his parent’s stuff,” Lewis said.

The charges against Curran were dropped—and the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station continues its investigation into the March 2 Westlake burglary.

In 2017, Goldcoast Coin Exchange moved to Roadside Drive in Agoura Hills after a 13-year stay in Woodland Hills. Lenk and her husband, Tom, own the store, and continue to keep an eye out for any stolen property that might come their way.

While her suspicions didn’t pan out in the Curran case, they have on other occasions.

“I’ve been around the block,” she said. “I’ve busted a bad guy, or a hundred.”