Two people have been arrested after more than US$500,000-worth of Wayne Gretzky memorabilia was stolen from the hockey Hall-of-Famer’s father’s home in Brantford, Ont.
In August, the Gretzky family contacted the Brantford Police Service after several pieces of sports memorabilia were found to be missing from Walter Gretzky’s home.
According to a news release, investigators soon learned that several of the items had likely been sold to collectors across the country.
The Brantford Police Service asked for the help of the RCMP and the OPP for a three-month-long investigation. During that time, police identified specific residences where the stolen property was believed to be.
On Dec. 8, various police units carried out search warrants at five homes in Ontario and Alberta, recovering game-used sticks, hockey gloves, pants, jerseys and a player-of-the-year award.
In the process, they also found evidence of another person who was believed to have committed fraud that involved a Gretzky hockey stick. Police said that all of the items were recovered in Alberta, in either Edmonton or Fort McMurray.
“I would like to sincerely thank every member of the team; the professionalism, dedication and support they have shown has been greatly appreciated,” a statement on behalf of the family said in part.
A 58-year-old Oakville man has been arrested and charged with theft over $5,000 and possession over $5,000. A Brockville woman, also 58, was arrested and charged with fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust.
Police did not publicly identify them, but did say that they were known to the Gretzky family.
Memorabilia from “the Great One” is known to fetch a hefty price by collectors, with a Wayne Gretzky rookie card recently selling for more than $1.2 million at auction.