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RICE’S BRIEFCASE FOUND DEEP IN HEART OF TEXAS

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Jerry Rice figured he would never see his briefcase again. Imagine his surprise when the San Francisco 49ers receiver learned it was recovered in Dallas Cowboys country.

A Parker County sheriff's investigator found the briefcase, which Rice last saw over the weekend at the Super Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., during a routine traffic stop of a man driving a rental car Wednesday.Officer Ken Dabbs asked the driver where he'd been and where he was headed. When the man seemed fidgety, Dabbs got his consent to search the car. That's when he found the locked briefcase.

"When I asked him about the briefcase, he immediately disclaimed . . . he said, `I don't know whose it is,' " Dabbs told The Weatherford Democrat.

Dabbs became even more curious, so he found a way to open it without ripping it up.

Inside, he found "a couple of watches," including a Rolex, a billfold with $1,000 cash and several credit cards, a checkbook, a key to a Mercedes-Benz and other personal items.

"When I looked in the billfold, there was a driver's license from California," Dabbs said. "When I pulled it out, it belonged to Mr. Jerry Rice."

The driver told Dabbs he found the briefcase at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, so he picked it up and put it in the car. He told Dabbs he planned to take it home to Arlington, halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth.

"He said that when he got home he was going to open it and return it to whoever owned it," Parker County sheriff Ben Whiteman said.