A Saskatchewan man’s extensive hockey memorabilia collection has been recovered by RCMP nearly a year after it was reported stolen from his rural residence in the Ahtahkakoop/Shellbrook area in early April 2022.
Between November of 2021 and March of 2022, approximately $100,000 worth of Wayne Gretzky hockey items including autographed jerseys, pictures and a large painting, pucks and sticks, and around 10,000 hockey cards were taken from the residence where they were being stored.
Police have been actively investigating the theft ever since.
On Feb. 18, a search warrant was executed at a home located on the 400 block of Second Ave. E. in Shellbrook. During a search of the residence, police officers recovered approximately three quarters of the stolen hockey memorabilia. Some other items previously and separately reported stolen to police were also found, including a snowmobile, trailer and pick-up truck.
According to RCMP, there are still some memorabilia items that were not recovered during the search, but they are unable to provide more details at this time.
“We began investigating this theft nearly a year ago and given the prevalence of online “buy and sell” sales, we didn’t know for sure if any of the stolen memorabilia items would be recovered,” said Shellbrook/Ahtahkakoop RCMP Detachment Commander S/Sgt. Shannon Haggarty. “This is an excellent example of how investigations take time to complete. It was continued, dedicated efforts on the part of RCMP investigators that resulted in charges laid and ultimately, items recovered from multiple different theft investigations.”
As a result of the investigation, Derek Herzog, 41, from Shellbrook, has been charged with possession of stolen property obtained by crime over $5,000.
His first court appearance is scheduled for April 4 in Shellbrook.