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Updated on 09/15/2013 11:10PM
Trophies stolen in burglary at National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
By Matt Hegarty
Five trophies, including the 1903 Belmont Stakes trophy awarded to Africander, were stolen late Thursday night from the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in a “smash-and-grab” burglary, the museum said Friday.
The trophies also included the 1903 Brighton Cup Trophy, the 1905 Saratoga Special Trophy, the 1914 Brook Cup Handicap Steeplechase Trophy, and the 1923 Grand National Steeplechase Trophy, according to the museum. The trophies, which are made of gold and silver, had not been recently appraised, but the museum is consulting with its insurers and appraisal experts to determine the value, according to Brien Bouyea, a spokesman for the museum.
“They are obviously very old and very rare as they stand, whether or not [the thieves] are going to try to sell them or melt them down,” Bouyea said.
The burglary follows a similar theft at the Harness Racing Hall of Fame last December in Goshen, N.Y. In that burglary, 14 trophies worth an estimated $300,000 were stolen. Bouyea said police are attempting to determine if there is a connection between the two crimes.
The burglary is being investigated by the Saratoga Springs Police Department.
In a statement, Lt. John Catone, the investigating officer, said that the police received an alarm call at the museum at 11:46 p.m. Upon arriving one minute later, “the perpetrator had already fled the scene,” Catone wrote.
“Investigators have secured evidence, are reviewing surveillance footage, and interviewing neighbors,” the statement said.
Bouyea declined to provide details about the break-in, deferring to the police.
The museum will be closed until Sept. 19 to assist in the investigation, Bouyea said.
“Right now, the museum is a crime scene,” Bouyea said.
Pitiful. I'm surprised they left the gutters and downspouts on the museum itself.
Smash and grab????? I visit the museum often during the race meet. This isn't a jewelry store with a curbside drive up. Thieves would have to gain entrance to the building through an entrance first. Something just doesn't add up. In any event the whole story is a sad commentary on a lot of levels.
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People are concerned about trophies? Reminds me of jokers who put deer heads on their walls. Does it need pointing out that trophies are not art? These things, worth all of 'an estimated 300K', may be part of the history of horse racing, but so is every thoroughbred who was ever entered into a race. And every one of them that is not taken care of well after his/her career is a far greater cause for indignation than a metal trinklet. But hey, I like heist movies, so I tend to side with a successful one, as long as nobody got hurt.
It never fails to amaze me how posters here know everything, but can't pick a winner. (inside job) As for the value, DID YOU NOT READ THE WORDS "GOLD & SILVER" You could melt it down on your kitchen stove and make a substantail amount of money.
Where is the onsite security?
The trophies may not be worth lot of money, but they have a tremendous history value for the Museum and the people that donated it. To bad, but by now they probable already melted it down by those thief.
Sounds like the usual inside job with a twist. How could anyone completely disappear in one minute carrying the stolen trophies? The thieves were already gone and then one of them pulled the alarms. Sound like an arson case where the arsonist starts the fire and then calls the fire department to watch the action.
That's a very good thought, Chad. I agree with a harsh punishment as well but highly unlikely that would ever happen in the US. Every consideration is given to the criminal and punishment is three hot meals, a bed and free time with the gang. While the victims of a crime get hosed! Small hope in ever getting them back but I hope they do.
No fence will ever touch this stuff. When they catch these slimeballs and they will, I hope they chop off their right hands so they can wipe their butts and eat with the same hand.
- 1.Posted 12/08/2013 09:52AM
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