Stolen Super Bowl ring found after 22 years

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ENCINITAS, Calif. — A 1971 Super Bowl ring belonging to former San Diego Charger Lance Alworth was found at an auction house in Laguna Nigel — 25 years after it was stolen, authorities announced Tuesday.

The ring was stolen 22 years ago from the old Trophy’s Restaurant in Mission Valley, along with other sport memorabilia .

“It was amazing,” Alworth said after getting the ring back on Tuesday. “I had given up all hope of ever seeing that ring again, so it was pretty special.”

Allworth spent most of his career as a Charger, but his last two seasons were with the Dallas Cowboys, where he won the ring.

A few weeks ago, Alworth got a call from a woman iLanceAlworthRingn Palm Springs who demanded $40,000 for the ring.  Alworth called the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for help.  After weeks of investigating, sheriff’s detectives identified three suspects and even put them under surveillance. They were able to recover the ring from an auction house in Laguna Nigel that was planning to put it up for bid next month with a starting price $44,000.

Sheriff’s investigators said the people in possession of the ring claimed they received it as collateral for a loan.  The case is now in the hands of the San Diego County District Attorney.

“The prosecution we’re looking for is misappropriation of stolen property,” said sheriff’s Detective Jaime Rodriguez.  “They made no effort to disclose who they were, and they very easily could have gone to law enforcement.”

Alworth said the ring is now too small to wear, but he’ll keep it at his home.

“All of a sudden I have the ring back, and it’s like, ‘Wow.’ You don’t know how to react except to say thank you for the work that they (deputies) did to get it,” said Alworth.