SAN DIEGO - A 1971 Super Bowl ring belonging to former San Diego Charger Lance Alworth was found at an auction house in Laguna Niguel -- 21 years after it was stolen, authorities announced Tuesday.
The ring was on exhibit at Trophy's Restaurant in Mission Valley, along with other local sports memorabilia, when it was stolen in 1992, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Alworth won the ring as a member of the Dallas Cowboys team that won Super Bowl VI.
On Sept. 7, Alworth received a call from a woman who demanded $40,000 for the return of the ring, sheriff's officials said.
Detectives with the sheriff's Encinitas station launched an investigation and the trail led them to Palm Springs, where they detained six people but the search was not over.
The ring was eventually located at an auction house in Laguna Niguel, where it was scheduled to go up for bid on Nov. 20. The auction was expected to open at $44,000 if the ring was not tracked down on Oct. 24.
"I really appreciate this ring more than you'll ever know," Alworth said. "It's pretty special, and I thought I'd never see it again."
No arrests were immediately made but the investigation was ongoing, according to Caldwell.
10News reporter Hannah Mullins asked what the ring symbolized after all these years, and Alworth responded, "Never give up."
"I feel pretty fortunate to have it back," Alworth added.
Anyone with information about the ring was asked to call Rodriguez at 760-966-3504 or San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.
The case has been handed over to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.