The New York Yankees' team dentist played amateur detective to catch a couple of scatterbrained crooks and get his beloved pieces of sports memorabilia back.
Dr. William Strupp, the team dentist since 1995, was the victim of a burglary last November that saw a number of his cherished items taken.
Strupp, 66, who fixed the late George Steinbrenner's teeth in 1995, owns five World Series rings thanks to his work with the Bronx Bombers.
Last November, two crooks stole nearly $40,000 worth of sports memorabilia. Everything from signed 100 Yankees signed baseballs, bats and even footballs were taken from Dr. Strupp's Clearwater, Fla., dental office, according to Clearwater Patch.
Law enforcement figured most of the items would be hard to unload for the thieves, so Clearwater detectives came up with the idea to have Strupp post an ad on Craigslist.
A few days later, a post showed up on the site with photos of the swiped items and the headline "Stolen Yankees." A reward for the souvenirs was offered.
And sure enough, about a month later, the thieves took the bait. "You kind of throw it out there and hope some idiot bites," Strupp told Clearwater Patch.
The Yankees dentist agreed to pay $4,000 for about half the stolen memorabilia, including 33 of the baseballs, as part of the sting operation, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
The lawbreakers attempted to change the public location of the meeting from a shopping center at the last minute, but Dr. Strupp was able to convince the burglars to go along with the original plan.
Police moved in and arrested two men, Dana M. Eson, 48, and Robert Kinzinger, 42, on charges of dealing stolen property.
Bay News 9 reports the Yankees dentist got most of his keepsakes back, however that can't be said for his computer equipment; police have only recovered about a quarter of those items.
Law enforcement officials said neither suspect was a patient of the doctor, so they don't know how he was picked for the burglary.
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