Stolen from a display case last summer, the whereabouts of two significant awards from Roger Maris’ career remain a mystery.
Maris’ 1960 American League MVP award and 1961 Hickok belt were taken in a smash-and-grab burglary at the Roger Maris Museum in his hometown of Fargo, ND in July. The theft was captured on surveillance video but the crime remains unsolved.
The museum, a series of glass-enclosed displays inside the West Acres shopping mall, has housed numerous items from Maris’ career since the 1980s.
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 26, a thief broke through one of them mall’s locked exterior doors, ran to one of the displays, smashed the glass with a small axe or hatchet, grabbed the two items and then ran back out the door. A four-door getaway car was waiting outside.
Grainy still photos taken from video show the man wearing a security guard uniform disguise and a black covering on his face.
The theft took about one minute.
Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI have been searching for clues and considering the possibility that the break-in may be related to east coast sports-related thefts of trophies and awards with significant amounts of jewelry and precious metals.
In 2012, Ben Hogan’s 1953 Hickok belt was among items stolen from the U.S. Golf Association Museum.
“We haven’t been informed of any new big leads at this point. If there was a big break in the case, they would let us know right away,” mall manager Chris Heaton told the Jamestown Sun.
Maris’ 1960 MVP award is a silver plate bordered by a wooden frame. The Hickok belt is made of alligator skin and featured an encrusted four-carat diamond and 26 gem chips. Each item is valued into six figures.
While little information about the investigation has been made available, authorities have requested data records from cell phone towers located near the mall.
“A lot of fans of Roger Maris all over the country were sad to hear about this and they let us know they were upset by what happened,” Heaton told the Sun. “We appreciate that.”