He’s been sort of a ‘dentist to the stars’. Dr. Bill Strupp might also have a future on a crime show. The tale of how he got his autographed sports memorabilia back is full of guts, cunning and tenacity. It also makes a great ‘dumb crooks’ story.
The two men on your left are in jail thanks to Strupp and Clearwater, Fla., cops.
Strupp and his partner in the dental office lost thousands of dollars worth of items when thieves broke in a couple of months ago. Included in the heist were some nice pieces of sports memorabilia from his collection. Strupp, you see, was the Yankees’ dentist while they were in spring training each year. One of his patients was the late George Steinbrenner. About three dozen autographed baseballs were among the items taken in the burglary.
In December, Strupp posted an ad on Craigslist, hoping perhaps someone had bought the signed items from the crooks and would be willing to contact him.
Late last month, someone did call.
One of the two men police are pretty certain stole his stuff.
The man wanted to sell the baseballs and signed bats back to his victim. Strupp played along, promising not to call police.
“Immediately, as soon as I hung up with him, I picked up the phone and called (Clearwater police) Detective Jonathan Walser,” said Strupp, 66.
From there, the story gets really interesting. Rita Farlow digs into it in the Tampa Bay Times.