Stolen Mariners memorabilia recovered, suspect arrested

SEATTLE -- Police recovered stolen Seattle Mariners memorabilia, including jerseys worn by Edgar Martinez and other former team members, and arrested the suspected thief Friday after tracing him through fingerprints he left behind at Safeco Field, police said.

A thief climbed over a fence at Safeco Field at about 4 a.m. Thursday and broke glass display cases in and around Edgar’s Cantina inside, police said. He then piled the memorabilia into garbage bags and hauled it all away.

The burglar’s plunder included three jerseys and bats used by Martinez; two jerseys and a cap worn by Lou Piniella;  jerseys and caps worn by Ken Griffey Jr.; and a variety of other items –  historic jerseys, bats, gloves, balls etc. – from the Seattle Rainiers and the Mariner’s and a team in Vancouver, B.C.

Police said detectives were able to match fingerprints left by the burglar at the scene to ones in the Seattle Police Department database of people who’ve been previously booked into jail. They were also able to match images from surveillance footage to a mug shot.

When police went to his home to arrest the suspect, he asked to get a coat. An officer went to get it, with the man's permission, and saw items stolen from the stadium when she opened his closet door, police said.

Officers were able to get a warrant to search the rest of the home and have recovered the stolen memorabilia, police said.