More than six dozen NHL team jerseys including a signed Wayne Gretzky model were stolen from a sports card and memorabilia shop in Ontario early Wednesday morning.
South Simcoe Police say the burglary at The Ice Box Cards and Collectibles in the city of Innisfil near Barrie was a smash and grab type entry with the front glass door to the building broken, allowing entry.
The Gretzky jersey was in a glass case according to Wayne Frazer, manager of the shop.
Despite the theft, which also included an autographed Mark Scheifele Winnipeg Jets rookie jersey, the store was open for business. Scheifele had been in the shop for an autograph session last month.
Frazer says the Gretzky jersey was valued at about $1,500. The total value of the stolen items was about $9,000 and included premium Reebok team jerseys that weren't lettered or numbered. Most were hanging near the front of the store.
None of the sports cards were taken. Frazer told the Barrie Examiner he thinks the burglars had a plan in mind--before, during and after the robbery, in part because it's not the first such incident in the province involving card shops in recent weeks.
"Whoever broke in here already had the jerseys sold to somebody else," he said. "There are lots of fakes being sold out there (at various locations) and from the back of trucks. I think the people that are selling those fakes might be in the market to buy real ones."
The building had an alarm system but there were no suspects nearby when police arrived around 2:30 a.m. Anyone with information regarding this entry or the stolen property are asked to contact South Simcoe Police - Criminal Investigation Bureau at 705-436-2141 or Crime Stoppers.