Police have recovered a large part of a $100,000 hockey memorabilia collection that was stolen in rural Saskatchewan sometime between November 2021 and March 2022.
The collection, which focused on Wayne Gretzky, belongs to Aron Gratias.
At the time of the theft, the lot included 19 autographed jerseys, pictures, pucks and close to 10,000 hockey cards, including 2,200 of The Great One. There were also Gretzky pictures, a large painting, sticks and pucks — all autographed.
Gratias previously told CBC that many items in his collection had been personally autographed for him. He said his obsession with No. 99 began when Gratias was a small child playing hockey in Saskatoon, and that he'd been collecting items for 40 years.
The items were taken from a locked storage container in a rural yard near Shellbrook, Sask., where they were being temporarily stored. The theft was reported to police in April 2022.
RCMP said Thursday that their investigation led them to a home in Shellbrook, Sask., during February 2023. A 41-year-old man from the town has been charged with possession of stolen property obtained by crime over $5,000.
Officers estimate they found about three-quarters of the stolen memorabilia, along with a snowmobile, trailer and pick-up truck that were all reported stolen by other people. RCMP said the owners of the stolen property have all been informed of the recovery of the items.
Police said the investigation is ongoing.