The stars of television’s “Pawn Stars” helped super bowl champ Mark May recover two stolen championship rings—and send the alleged culprit to jail.
Earlier this month, 43-year-old Marcel Behnert brought the two Super Bowl rings into Gold & Silver Pawn—a Las Vegas pawn shop made famous by the show—and tried to sell the rings, which had the last name “May” and his jersey number engraved on them.
The sale was discussed with sports memorabilia collector Diamond Don, often featured on the show, who immediately thought the it seemed suspicious, according to KNXV-TV.
Diamond Don reached out to May to see if the former Washington Redskins player had been trying to sell the rings, but discovered they had been stolen months earlier.
“When someone comes in like that, they smell a rat if you don’t have a receipt or if you don’t have a story or proof of ownership,” May later told the station. “Once (the pawn shop owners) smelled a rat, they turned it over to Diamond Don, and he’s like ‘No, I know Mark May. I know that he’s not pawning his rings to give them to some guy.’”
May had last seen the rings at a Scottsdale charity event he attended in February, according to court documents obtained by KTVK. May had reportedly stayed in a Tempe Sheraton after the event and later noticed that the rings and several of his Michael Kors watches were missing.
He reported the theft to police on April 29. Hotel staff eventually found the rings in a hotel safe and allegedly brought them to Behnert, who was a lead engineer at the hotel KNXV-TV reports.
Several months later, authorities say Behnert brought the rings to the pawn shop and tried to sell them for an agreed price of $10,000.
After the “Pawn Stars” discovered May had reported the rings as stolen, they met with the Las Vegas Metro Police and Mesa Police department to arrange a time for the sale to go down. When Behnert arrived at the shop on July 3, he was taken into custody.
Behnert allegedly later confessed to taking the rings and watches from a safe in the hotel room, according to court documents. Officers were later able to recover the watches at Behnert’s home.
"All we were interested in was getting Mr. May his rings back," the store’s general manager Andy Zimmerman said. "The neat thing about a championship ring is it has the person’s name on it, so it makes it a little easier for us to do our due diligence."
May said he believed he would never see the rings again, but now plans to reclaim them from Las Vegas police next week.
“The bottom line of the story is the integrity of the guys on ‘Pawn Stars’ for what they do and their due diligence. When you watch their show, they say, 'If you don’t have proof, we don’t want it,’” May said.
Behnert is now facing charges of theft and trafficking stolen property.
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