Saturday, May 26, 2012
The Surfside Beach Police Department has helped recover a 1974 Super Bowl commemorative ring that had been stolen during a Surfside Beach burglary around midday Monday.
According to SBPD Chief Mike Frederick, officers located the ring during the execution of a search warrant in the Forestbrook section of Horry County late Friday evening.
Gregory Allen Owens, 40, is charged with burglary and grand larceny.
“The investigation began Monday afternoon when Richard Conn reported that an unknown person had entered his residence and stolen cash and two commemorative sports rings, Conn’s 1973 University of Georgia football ring and his 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl Championship ring,” Frederick said. “Investigators immediately began canvassing known suspects and sources, and by Thursday had developed several leads by also coordinating with local and state agencies for assistance with surveillance details and intelligence-sharing.”
When the search warrant was executed Friday night, Owens was in the house and was detained without incident. The rings were found hidden behind a water heater in the garage.
Frederick stated that the rings have been secured in an evidence lockup, and will be returned to Conn after coordination with the Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office next week.
Conn played in the NFL for six years- his 1974 season with the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, and five additional years with the New England Patriots.
Frederick added that the theft and eventual investigation struck a chord with officers due to the rarity of the items stolen and the sentimental value to Conn’s family members.
Frederick said that the investigation relied upon coordinated assistance from several state and local law enforcement agencies, involving a wide range of activities including vehicle tracking, surveillance, tactical assistance, and intelligence sharing. He thanked the SC Law Enforcement Division (SLED), SC Public Service Authority Law Enforcement Division, Horry County PD, Myrtle Beach PD, and North Myrtle Beach PD for their assistance, and indicated that several agencies (including SBPD) continue to investigate OWENS attendant to open cases in their respective jurisdictions. Additional charges from SBPD may be forthcoming.