Police made a startling discovery after pulling over three men for driving erratically in a Boca Raton subdivision earlier this week: A Miami Heat championship ring from 2012 — with a woman’s name on it.
The men, were arrested and charged with burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief. And the woman, who spent seven years with the organization, got her treasured ornament back.
“I felt very violated,” Amber Tollefson told West Palm Beach television station WPEC-CBS12. “This is very sentimental. I worked for the Miami Heat for seven years.”
The ring, from the five-game, 2012 Miami Heat championship win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, is valued at about $5,000. It was the first title win for Lebron James after joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Heat roster.
Boca Raton police said it was just past midnight Tuesday when they spotted a 2016 Dodge Challenger blowing through stop signs, driving erratically, and making a U-turn in a cul-de-sac in a community off of St. Andrews Boulevard.
When the officers pulled the vehicle over, they said they smelled marijuana, then spotted a bottle of Alprazolam , more commonly known as Xanax, inside one of the men’s pockets. The man said he used it regularly but didn’t have a prescription, police said.
Also spotted in the vehicle: A sandwich bag filled with jewelry and the Heat championship ring — in a small panel near the driver’s side of the car.
Questioned separately, two of the men claimed to own the valuable collector’s item. One of the men told police he bought the expensive ring at the Swap Shop. All three men said they drove to Boca Raton to meet women.
On closer inspection, police said they also spotted Tollefson’s name on the back of the ring. When they called her, Tollefson told police her home had just been ripped off and that she had reported it to the police department.
Kareem Auguste, Jerry Simon and Jaheim Richardson were arrested and also charged with crossing county lines to commit a burglary and possession of a burglary tool. Police said they used a screwdriver to break into a door at Tollefson’s home.