Taking home a few items during the demise of Shea Stadium turned out to be a legal headache for one New Yorker.
A security guard hired to prevent looting of Shea Stadium while the New York Mets’ former home ballpark was demolished has pleaded guilty to stealing memorabilia.
Gerald Tacopino pleaded guilty to petit larceny on Wednesday according to Queens, New York District Attorney Richard Brown. The 44-year-old man had been hired in 2008, as the team made plans to dismantle the ballpark’s artifacts for sale to fans and collectors. MeiGray Group assisted the city and team with the sale.
Police say Tacopino admitted using eBay to sell bases and stadium seats that he had taken from the ballpark. When police detectives searchedTacopino’s home late in 2008, they found additional stolen Mets memorabilia, including 23 caps, security jackets, shirts and seat backs and bottoms.
He was fined $500 plus restitution to the Mets of another $842.50.
New York media reports indicate the 44 year-old Brooklyn resident is a school bus driver. If he avoids any more legal trouble for the next six months, he’ll avoid jail time. He’ll also have to avoid the new home of the Mets, CitiField.