SUGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) -- Marcia and Michael Cohen saved their spare change for four years. They planned to use it as spending money for a trip to Walt Disney World with their three grandchildren.
They're taking the trip to celebrate Marcia's 70th birthday.
"We've been counting it down for 120 days," said Marcia Cohen, "so we're getting ready -- about 23 days to go."
Michael Cohen said he took the money to his local Wells Fargo, where bankers turned him away and told him to roll the coins before they would accept it.
Michael drove home. He said within minutes thieves smashed into his vehicle. They raced off with the coins.
Michael estimated their worth around $1,500.
"The lesson is always look in your rear view mirror to see if you've been followed," said Michael.
Sugar Land police officers told ABC13 they suspect this is a case of bank jugging, where criminals case banks and then follow victims home.
As Cohen was on the phone with 911, an officer nearby initiated a traffic stop. He observed a car driving with expired plates. Investigators said inside of pulling over, the driver took off.
Officers pursued the vehicle until it crashed into a pole. Three men immediately tried to run off on foot and tried tossing coins into the street.
Police identified the men as 24-year-old Devante Terrell Burr, 19-year-old Robert Lewis Penrice and 19-year-old Ryan Dewayne Smith.
Police said the coins belonged to the Cohen family. They were able to recover about a third of them. The Cohen told Eyewitness News their trip to Disney World will go on.
The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC13.