Stolen Burns items found

Pat Burns. (REUTERS)

Pat Burns. (REUTERS)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:11 PM ET

MONTREAL -– Two suitcases stolen from deceased NHL coach Pat Burns’s wife after his funeral were returned on Thursday, but many pilfered items are still missing.

A citizen returned the bags containing personal items belonging to Burns and wife Line Gignac. The passerby found them not far from the street in Old Montreal where someone had broken into Gignac’s car during a reception following the funeral.

The suitcases contained some of the stolen items, but 30 autographed jerseys and an expensive watch are still missing.

The jerseys were to have been auctioned to raise money for several charities. Some of the money would have gone to the construction of an arena bearing the former coach’s name.

Montreal police say they have received dozens of tips after the items were snatched early Tuesday.

Some calls related to people seen sporting autographed jerseys — similar to the ones stolen — around town.

Police also checked local pawn shops and surfed the Internet to see if they could track down the items.

Digital communications advisor Bruno Guglielminetti says it’s unlikely the merchandise will show up online in the near future because the jerseys are far too “hot.”

“Unless the thieves are especially inept, they won’t put the items up for sale on the Internet right away,” he said.

“That would be playing with fire. Even if they wanted to sell the items to people in California who don’t know about the theft, people in Quebec could come across them and alert the authorities.”

But Guglielminetti did note the robbers could try and sell the stolen goods on private hockey memorabilia forums.

“We could imagine they’d mention their haul on specialized discussion forums at some point in time,” he said.

Burns died after a lengthy battle with cancer. Many from the NHL community paid their respects at his funeral.


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