The NBA championship trophy apparently has been stolen.
Chicago police said Tuesday the 27-pound trophy, which depicts a gold basketball on the rim of a gold basket, has been missing since late May, the Daily Southtown newspaper reported today.A spokeswoman for Tiffany's Jewelers in New York, which makes the trophy, told the newspaper the missing trophy was only a display model. But the newspaper cited an unidentified source close to the investigation saying that was false and that the original was missing.
Chicago Police Sgt. Joe Serb, the watch officer in the district where the theft was discovered, said early today he had not heard anything about it.
The newspaper, citing Chicago police and other unidentified authorities, provided this account:
The trophy was shipped from Tiffany's on a United Airlines flight from Newark, N.J., about 9 p.m. May 28. A driver hired to pick it up at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport noticed that the crate was unlocked. Five of the locks apparently had been sheared off, and the sixth was open.
Tiffany's did not report the theft to police, the newspaper said, citing unidentified authorities. United Airlines reported the theft Monday.
Tiffany's spokeswoman Fernanda Gilligan said the company makes two trophies, the real one and a display model, and that the missing trophy is the display model.
An unidentified source told the newspaper that Tiffany's actually makes four versions: the original, a backup, a display model and a traveling model used for promotional purposes. The source said the original includes a identifying mark on the bottom, and that is the one police say was stolen.