KIRKWOOD, MO (KPLR) - Two Jefferson County men are behind bars after police say they stole valuables from the home of a Rams coach in Kirkwood. Although the two cooperated with police, some of the valuables, including several championship rings, are still unaccounted for.
In 1996, current Rams coach Rob Boras won the NFC Championship with the Chicago Bears, and until last week, had the championship ring to prove it. But unfortunately, he may never see that ring, or three NCAA championship rings, ever again.
On New Year’s Eve, police say 25 year-old James Bright and 26 year-old Jeffrey Medcalf broke into Boras’s home, and walked out with electronics, video games and sentimental jewelry, including the four championship rings, and a wedding band.
Police tracked down the suspects on January 3rd, and recovered some of the stolen items.
But many of them were already sold to a scrap metal shop in Fenton.
Kirkwood Police Spokesman David Smith says, “Detectives went down there, and after receiving conflicting reports from employees as well as business partners at the gold establishment, the rings were not located.”
Mike Duke, owner of Missouri Gold Buyers, says, “When somebody wins the World Series or a championship of any kind, everybody gets a ring.” That’s why he says his employees didn’t think twice when the football rings showed up at their Fenton location.
But where are the rings now? Duke insists they were melted, because that’s what they do with all jewelry they buy: “I realize to football fans it’s a championship ring, but to say that we buy jewelry is like saying a junk yard buys cars. They don’t, they buy metal. And that’s what we buy.'
But could the rings, which some fans find invaluable, have somehow slipped out of the pile? Duke says that’s impossible. He explains, “No, there’s security measures where the stuff is bought where if someone pulled something out like that, then my numbers at the end of the day of how much the store bought wouldn’t match the numbers of what went into the melt.”
Although police found 175 stolen items at his shops last year, Duke says this is the first time police had come for items too late, before they were melted.
Perhaps police aren’t convinced, since investigators aren’t giving up on finding the missing rings. Smith explains, “We hope that we can still recover some of the jewelry, and some of the property that belonged to this homeowner. By no fault of their own, they were a random victim in this crime.”
Both suspects are behind bars in St. Louis County, charged with burglary and stealing property valued at more than 25,000 dollars. Both have a criminal history.