April 10, 2018

The police got their man, but have yet two recover Kariya’s two championship rings that were stolen in February from the Hockey Hall of Fame:

Paul Kariya and his two stolen championship rings theif

It was a brazen (or perhaps stupid) daylight robbery of property belonging to the Hockey Hall of Fame and included two of NHL star Paul Kariya’s championship rings.

Kariya had loaned the hall his two championship rings; and the theft occurred around 12:30 p.m. on February 11. Kariya had been recently inducted into the Hockey Hall of fame.

Video evidence reportedly shows a man came in through the Spirit of Hockey store, entered a storage closet that opened up the back of a display case and removed the championship rings. (Talk about an inside job, yet he didn’t know about video cameras?). The suspect then fled in a rented U-Haul panel van that was caught on video surveillance.

After the Hall of Fame theft, the police put out images of the suspect wearing a grey sweatsuit asking for a call-out for tips and witnesses, and this reportedly led to the suspect being identified.

The stolen championship rings, Kariya’s 1993 world junior championship ring and a 1994 world championship ring, have not been recovered, so the search for them continues.

“We’ve sold World Championship rings for lots of different players and they would definitely be something that would be sought after, that’s for sure. It’s a very important piece of memorabilia,” says Marc Juteau, president and founder of Classic Auctions in Delson, Quebec, which has handled the sales of items for many former NHL players.

While he hesitates to place a value on the championship rings, as this is “debatable, and many of these items are worth what people are willing to pay for them,” he says the rings are easily worth thousands of dollars.

“Just a caveat here: Paul Kariya is notoriously difficult memorabilia-wise; he doesn’t sign autographs. He’s not accessible. Anything Kariya has some added cachet and carries a premium. For a World Junior Ring, I’d say somewhere between the $5,000-to-$10,000 range,” says Hersh Borenstein, president of Frozen Pond, which specializes in autographed hockey memorabilia, and is located in Concord, Ont. “There’s not a lot rings out there, so they are valuable.”

But the championship rings as sports collectors know would be very difficult to sell. “It’s like stolen artwork, because you can’t sell it; you’ll be caught. That’s why high-end memorabilia is not the smartest thing to take,” he said.

At the time of the robbery, Hockey Hall of Fame spokesperson Kelly Masse said that Kariya “understood these things happen.”

Christopher Hall, 37, of Mississauga appeared in court on Friday charged with breaking and entering, possession of property obtained by crime, and failure to comply with probation orders.

Halton Police arrested Hall on unrelated charges related to the theft of $50,000 worth of ski jackets on March 21, and he has been in custody since.

Please remember as always, I buy championship rings. If you would like to sell your championship ring (with complete documentation of title and ownership), please contact me.

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