You’re Out: Federal Authorities Catch Yogi Berra Museum Thieves
One of the greatest players in the history of baseball is a man by the name of Lawrence Peter Berra but most people knew him by another name, Yogi. Yogi Berra had one of the greatest baseball careers a professional could ever imagine; he was a part of Yankee dynasty teams between the late 1940's and early 1950's, was teammates with other greats like Joe Dimaggio and Mickey Mantle, he was selected to 18-All Star Games, won 3 Most Valuable Player awards and retired having been a part of more World Championship teams than any other player in history. In fact, he had a ring for every finger for a grand total of 10 titles.
Yogi would continue to remain an icon in the game of baseball and American society long after his playing career ended. In the late 1990's a non-profit group called the 'Friends of Yogi' went to work and built a museum to honor the baseball great. The museum opened at Montclair State University and is still there to this day.
Tragedy would strike the museum though in 2014, as thieves found their way into the museum and stole an exorbitant amount of priceless merchandise and historical relics both from Berra's playing days as well as other pieces from other athletes who had donated pieces to the museum. Not many answers existed when it came to the theft originally but nearly 10 years later, authorities can now finally answer some of those questions.
Yogi Berra Museum Theft and What Was Taken
The original robbery happened back on October 8, 2014. The thieves had made their into the museum through the minor league baseball stadium that was connected to the museum. Once inside the thieves were precise in taking what they were after and the entire ordeal was done in little time.
From the heist, the thieves had stolen several of Berra's world championship rings and two of his MVP trophies. In an article from the Daily Voice, it states that the rings estimated worth was '$150,000 dollars' and that the MVP awards were worth '$100,00' to $250,000 dollars' and the glove Berra used when he caught Don Larsen's Perfect Game in the 1956 World Series.
At the time of the event, local law enforcement was under the impression that the crime was committed by local thieves. Federal authorities recently though have come out and stated that that could not have been further from the truth.
Federal Authorities Investigation of Yogi Berra Theft
Federal authorities recently announced that the perpetrator's of the Yogi Berra Museum theft were recently apprehended. With the announcement of the arrests, authorities also shared a great deal of info regarding the individuals and their operation.
Authorities learned that this group of criminals had not only robbed the museum but that they were involved in numerous robberies that happened between 1999 and 2018. Between those years the criminals were tied to robberies that occurred at numerous different venues and museums where they targeted high quality art and other sports memorabilia.
In those other heists, the criminals were successful in taking everything from Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock paintings to the trophy from the 1903 Belmont Stakes to antique firearms. The items just from the Berra museum were valued at over $1 million dollars total, while other items were estimated in the 6-figure range.
While many anxiously waited for the day these criminals would eventually be caught, not all the news from federal authorities was good. Authorities while speaking on the matter also revealed that a majority of the items stolen had NOT been recovered.
An indictment from the federal grand jury in Pennsylvania stated that many of the pieces had been 'deliberately destroyed'. In the indictment it was also stated that the belief is...
Some of the sports memorabilia was melted into metal discs and bars that were more easily transported and sold in and around Manhattan.
Though it appears that the items and memorabilia are gone for good, the criminals finally being captured is a long overdue and greatly welcomed. Authorities would end their announcements by thanking all of the agencies that had participated in the investigation including, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey Park Police, Montclair State University Police and numerous other agencies from across the country.