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Give up stolen bobsled runners — it’s worth $10,000

U.S. bobsled federation wants other 7 sets back

SHARE Give up stolen bobsled runners — it’s worth $10,000

Note to relatives and friends of the thieves: Want to make a quick $10,000? Spill the beans on where the bobsled runners are hidden.

Or ambitious sleuths without any connection to the criminals may wish to ferret out the location and collect the money. The stolen steel could be ditched beside some road.

The U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation is offering the reward for the safe return of all seven sets of bobsled runners that remain missing following a break-in at a South Salt Lake storage locker on the weekend of July 29-30. The 44 runners, 11 sets, were stored in rifle cases.

On Aug. 9, a Murray man noticed a gun case among the weeds of an abandoned service station at 2700 South and 1100 East. He checked the case and discovered it held four sets of runners. One of these sets belongs to Brian Shimer, top driver for the U.S. team.

But the country's hopes for Olympic gold in the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Games are riding with experimental runners that are still missing.

Hoping to get a lead on those crucial blades, the federation is offering a $10,000 reward "for the safe return of all seven missing sets of bobsled runners."

Matt Roy, executive director of the federation, which is based in Lake Placid, N.Y., told the Deseret News on Wednesday that the group has not heard of any progress in solving the case since the Aug. 9 discovery.

The reward may stimulate someone to come forward. "We hope there are people out there" related to someone involved in the crime, who may have heard talk about the runners, he said.

The federation established a fund to create new experimental runners like those taken, but the process is a difficult, expensive and lengthy one. As much art as science, it may take so long that new runners won't be available before 2002.

If they are, the federation at least has one of the best runners back, thanks to the recovery. A set belonging to Shimer was to be tested against the experimental blades. "Having one of those sets back is a great relief," Roy said.

Anyone who has information on the runners' whereabouts, or who wishes to learn details about the reward, should contact Roy at 1-800-BOBSLED, extension 109.

E-MAIL: bau@desnews.com