Pete Sampras, the 39-year-old former tennis champion, has had a trophy returned to him one month after it was stolen from his West Los Angeles public storage facility, reports the Los Angeles Times. The trophy was found dumped in the city's Griffith Park alongside three of Sampras' scrapbooks.
Lieutenant ROBERT EDGAR, of the LAPD's commercial theft division, said that a citizen had contacted the authorities last Friday (17th December 2010) after discovering the stolen items in the park. Nearly 100 pieces of memorabilia were taken from the tennis player's storage lock-up last month, including his first Australian Open trophy as well as his Olympic ring and other valuable awards. Edgar said, "I can't tell you if it was a random event or if they knew if the property of Pete Sampras was there", and added that the police currently have several leads.
Sampras said that none of his items were insured because he believed there was no way to assess the value. However, LEILA DUNBAR, former vice-president at Sotheby's collectables department said, "Pete Sampras is considered to be one of the top five singles players of all time. There's going to be a lot of interest". She noted that the Australian Open trophy would have an estimated starting price of between $50,000 and $75,000.