Bertman's rings found before hitting black market
BATON ROUGE - Some valuable sports collectibles are back in the hands of LSU legend Skip Bertman after police recovered 21 championship rings stolen from the former LSU baseball coach over the weekend.
Moises Marquez, 18, and two 16 year-olds are charged with the theft. Police said they were able to return the rings before the suspects could get rid of them.
With over two decades in the sports memorabilia business, Chuck Raborn of Chuck's Sports Cards has seen and heard about lots of cases involving stolen merchandise.
"It does become a problem and we've had many cases through the years," Raborn said.
He said it's also a good thing cops found the rings fast, since there always seems to be a market to sell the merchandise.
"Sometimes it might go out of state and be sold to hobby stores," Raborn said. "There are a lot of different avenues they can move that."
Baton Rouge Police said Marquez's sister works at Bertman's home, and that he came along several times to help out. That was how they believe he found out where the rings were inside the residence, and unlocked a window so he and his accomplices could get back inside this weekend. Investigators said Bertman confronted the three inside the house, but they were able to get away with the rings.
The rings' safe return is secondary to current LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri, who is glad things did not turn out worse.
"I don't think Skip cared one iota about the rings, neither would I," Mainieri said. "I'm just glad that he's OK and that Sandy is OK."
There is still an unsolved case of two dozen stolen LSU championship rings that happened two years ago in Livingston Parish. No arrests were ever made in that investigation.