09/24/2013 1:12PM

Reward offered for information about racing museum burglary


An insurance company associated with the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is offering a $20,000 reward for “information leading to the arrest, recovery, and conviction” of the individual who stole five trophies from the museum Sept. 12, according to the museum.

The reward is being offered by StarNet Insurance Co., which has written policies insuring the museum’s assets, according to Brian Bouyea, a spokesman for the museum. The burglary took place late at night after the perpetrator broke into the museum and smashed a display case.

Among the stolen trophies was the 1903 Belmont Stakes Trophy won by Africander and the 1923 Grand National Steeplechase Trophy won by Sergeant Murphy. All five trophies were either made of gold or silver, museum officials have said, and trophies might have already been melted down.

The insurance company has performed an appraisal to determine the value of the trophies, but the company does not want the value to be publicly released because two of the stolen trophies were on loan, including the 1903 Belmont trophy, which is the property of the New York Racing Association, Bouyea said.

Police investigating the burglary have said they believe there is a connection between the burglary and a similar incident at the Harness Racing Hall of Fame last December. In that theft, 14 trophies worth an estimated $300,000 were stolen. None have been recovered.