An Arizona hotel employee reportedly stole Super Bowl rings and then came up with the brilliant idea to sell them off at the most popular pawn shop in the world, the Gold & Silver Pawn in Las Vegas from the TV show Pawn Stars. Apparently, the pawn shop employees know a guy who specializes in stolen Super Bowl rings and they alerted the authorities.
Marcel Behnert was arrested earlier this month after he tried to pawn two Super Bowl rings that were stolen from former Washington Redskins offensive lineman Mark May.
May wore the Super Bowl rings during a charity event in Scottsdale, Arizona, in February. However, someone stole his Super Bowl rings and several watches from his room at the Sheraton Hotel in Scottsdale. Then in late April, the rings and watches were discovered by hotel staff in a room safe at the Sheraton. The rings and watches were allegedly brought to Behnert, the hotel lead engineer.
On July 2, the 43-year-old Behnert went to the Gold & Silver Pawn in Las Vegas to try to unload the rings and watches. Pawn Stars general manager and ASU alum Andy Zimmerman noticed that Behnert’s behavior during the attempted sale was suspicious.
“I asked the pawn broker how much the guy was looking for, and he told me the amount, and my first reaction was, ‘Each?’ And he goes, ‘No, for both of them,'” Zimmerman told ABC15. Behnert originally asked $12,000 for the rings.
“Given what he was looking for, I thought that doesn’t have a good sign to it,” Zimmerman said. “So I told my pawn broker, go back out there and counter, and see what he does. We countered at a lower price, and he accepted it, which led me to believe even further that there was a problem.”
Zimmerman’s got a buddy who’s an expert in sports memorabilia, so he contacted Diamond Don, a sports memorabilia collector who also works at the Pawn Stars shop.
The rings were engraved with the last name “May” and also had his jersey number. Diamond Don then contacted May, who told him how his Super Bowl rings were stolen.
“When someone comes in like that, they smell a rat if you don’t have a receipt or if you don’t have a story or proof of ownership,” May told ABC15. “Once [they] smelled a rat, they turned it over to Diamond Don, and he’s like, ‘No, I know Mark May. I know that he’s not pawning his rings to give them to some guy.’”
Zimmerman from the famous pawn shop from the History Channel TV show alerted authorities in Mesa and Las Vegas. Behnert was later arrested and they found the watches in a safe in his home. Behnert was charged with theft and trafficking stolen property.
May said he hopes to retrieve his belongings next week. “The bottom line of the story is the integrity of the guys on Pawn Stars for what they do and their due diligence. When you watch their show, they say, ‘If you don’t have proof, we don’t want it,’” May said.
“I thought they were gone forever,” May said. “I attribute [their recovery] to probably four or five things. One is luck. I’m lucky to get them back. Two, good police work by the Las Vegas Police Department. Three, the integrity of the Pawn Star guys and Diamond Don.”
“And four, probably greed and stupidity by the guy who was trying to sell them — one, to a pawn shop, because nationwide, they’re all connected when something like that comes up,” May added. “And two, to do it on television when they tell you point-blank: If you don’t have a receipt or you don’t have a proof of ownership, and it’s something that’s high-priced, we’re not interested.”