Thief steals college football championship rings

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Police say a burglar stole over $20,000 worth of valuables, including two college football championship rings, from a man's home. 

Mel Whatley and his wife were out of town celebrating their anniversary from July 16-20. He says that’s when someone broke into their Smyrna, Georgia home. 

“I got a shocking phone call from my wife,” Whatley said. “It’s the violation. How are you going to come into here and violate my home, then I feel a little worried, scared.”

Among those items stolen were Whatley’s two college football championship rings. Police say one of the rings was a 1998 Georgia Tech Atlantic Conference championship ring and the other was a 1995 Air Force Western Athletic Conference championship ring.

Whatley said, so much stuff was stolen, he believes the burglars made more than one trip to his house. They also stole $15,000 worth of his wife’s jewelry, but Whatley says they stole a big part of his life and he just wants some of his history back.

“The experience I still have. I’ll never forget the times I had with the guys, but that physical representation is gone,” Whatley said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Smyrna Police Department or, to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.


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