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Kingsport couple allegedly steal $60K in collectibles

Rain Smith • Sep 20, 2019 at 2:00 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — A husband and wife are accused of stealing a cache of valuable coins and crystal from a family member's Kingsport storage unit, then trying to sell the items online.

Mari Handin Varney, 67, and Donald Lee Varney, 68, were indicted last month by a Sullivan County grand jury. On Monday they turned themselves in to police on felony warrants for theft of more than $60,000.

Records at the Kingsport Police Department list the victim in the case as Mari's brother. In May of last year he contacted police from his home in Boca Raton, Florida, reporting "high end" collectibles were missing from his storage unit in Kingsport.

The man said pieces began to go missing in 2015, but he initially thought he had just misplaced them. As additional coins, models and crystal items disappeared, he began to suspect his sister was involved. She was reportedly the only other person with a key to the storage unit at Prime Storage on East Stone Drive.

His suspicions were allegedly validated when some of the stolen items were found for sale on eBay. Police say they were listed under an account belonging to his brother-in-law, Donald Varney.

The value of all the stolen goods was initially estimated at about $50,000, but further inventory pushed that total up by more than $10,000.

Earlier this week the Varneys, of Stillwood Court in Kingsport, were booked into the Sullivan County jail. They have since been released after each posted $17,500 bond.

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