Police in Ocean Pines, Md., arrested three men and a female juvenile earlier this month for burglary and theft after an autographed Babe Ruth baseball and other collectibles were stolen from a man's home.
The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation worked with the Ocean Pines PD to arrest the four individuals after they tried to pawn it to local pawnshops and jewelers. One of them, an 18-year-old, was the grandson of the victim.
According to a press release, police began their investigation August 6 when the victim told them he walked into a bedroom at his home and discovered about $300 in cash missing from his wife’s purse. He then noticed a cherry case containing 15 commemorative 1996 Olympic coins, including some gold, were also gone.
The victim told police he suspected his grandson, 18-year-old Shawn Patrick Murray, was the only person who knew where the items were located. The victim also told police Murray had recently been to the house, but was asked to leave after some friends of his came over and "made a mess".
The victim then searched the home more thoroughly and realized that his Babe Ruth-Rabbit Maranville autographed baseball, a signed Brooks Robinson ball. a rare .32 caliber handgun he'd owned since 1956 and some rare currency and coins had also been taken. The victim told police the Babe Ruth baseball had been appraised about seven years earlier at $35,000. Unless it's in pristine shape, the estimate may be high, but the ball and other items were valuable enough to keep police on the trail.
Nearly all of the stolen property was recovered and returned to the victim and last week, police say they caught up to Murray who admitted to stealing the autographed balls, handgun and the collectible cash.