20 years of high-risk thievery

A pack of high-risk, high-reward thieves who allegedly spent 20 years jacking irreplaceable sports and art collectibles, trophies, and memorabilia across the country, was nabbed in Pennsylvania by feds and local law enforcement this week.

Some of the prized items include prized, one-of-a-kind awards, trophies, and accolades in sports, including millions of dollars in items taken from the National Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

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Millions of dollars worth of items stolen

According to Spectrum Local News, the crimes took place over the course of 20 years, and the nine people who were arrested and charged were part of a gang of thieves who worked across the country, taking 10's of millions of dollars of irreplaceable items, including:

  • A Christy Mathewson jersey and two contracts signed by Mathewson were stolen in 1999 from Keystone College in Factoryville, Pennsylvania
  • “Le Grande Passion” by Andy Warhol, and “Springs Winter” by Jackson Pollock, stolen in 2005 from the Everhart Museum, Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • Nine World Series rings, seven other championship rings, and two MVP plaques awarded to Yogi Berra, worth over $1,000,000 and stolen in 2014 from the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J.
  • Six championship belts, including four awarded to Carmen Basilio and two awarded to Tony Zale, were stolen in 2015 from the Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota
  • The Hickok Belt and MVP Trophy that was awarded to Roger Maris, was stolen in 2016 from the Roger Maris Museum in Fargo, N.D.
  • Fourteen trophies and other awards worth over $300,000 were stolen in 2012 from the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y.
  • Five trophies worth over $400,000, including the 1903 Belmont Stakes Trophy, stolen in 2013 from the National Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
  • “Upper Hudson” by Jasper Cropsey, worth approximately $500,000, and two antique firearms worth over $300,000, stolen in 2011 from Ringwood Manor, Ringwood, N.J.

According to the report, the alleged thieves did various things with the stolen goods, including "melting them down into metal discs or bars for transport, which they sold to other individuals in the New York City area for hundreds or thousands of dollars, but far less than their original estimated value, federal prosecutors said.

"It is with heavy hearts that we learned that the belts are assumed to be destroyed and will not be returned to the Hall of Fame," Mayor Rosanne Warner said. "The belts belonged to hometown hero and Canastota native Carmen Basilio and to Tony Zale, otherwise known as the ‘Man of Steel’ from Gary, Indiana.”


The source says that a federal grand jury indicted Nicholas Dombek, 53, Damien Boland, 47, Alfred Atsus, 47, and Joseph Atsus, 48.

Five other individuals were charged with felonies for the same conspiracy.  They are  Thomas Trotta, 48, Frank Tassiello, 50, Daryl Rinker, 50, Dawn Trotta, 51, and Ralph Parry, 45.


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