Updated: 11:45 a.m. Friday, July 20, 2007 | Posted: 3:51 p.m. Thursday, July 19, 2007
Prized Possessions Stolen From Former Panther
LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. —
Investigators with the Lancaster County Sheriff's Department aren't sure if one thief or several thieves broke into a former NFL player's home, but they say it looks like whoever it was knew exactly what they were looking for.
Peter Metzelaars only spent one season with the Carolina Panthers, but he fell in love with the area and knew he'd return once his NFL playing days were over.
"We live here in a nice, quiet community that's out of the way and safe and a great place to raise children, then this happens," Metzelaars said.
On Tuesday afternoon thieves staged their break-in to Metzelaars’s home, cutting off the power and slicing phone and cable lines -- disabling all alarms.
"They kind of knew what they were looking for, what they wanted to get, came in, got it and got out,” Metzelaars said.
What they got was valuable NFL memorabilia – a Super Bowl ring Metzelaars got for being part of the Indianapolis Colts coaching staff and four solid gold American Football League championship rings he earned during his years with the Buffalo Bills.
Lancaster investigator Tom Holland says he's following several leads.
"The people, or person, who took them should have a hard time getting rid of them because they're kind of personal -- there's not a big market for them," he said.
In addition to taking Metzelaars's rings, thieves also took most of his wife's jewelry.
Anyone with information that could help police recover those stolen items should call the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 283-4136.