World Cup trophy recovered
The elusive World Cup trophy was safely in the hands of Douglas County Sheriff’s investigators Thursday, after an informant led them to its location in South Lake Tahoe.
Detective Dave Brown said an individual took the trophy from the cleaning cart of the housekeeper, who originally removed it from Alex Wilson’s room. With the help of South Lake Tahoe Police Detective Martin Hewlett, Brown and Douglas County Detective Ted Duzan recovered the $500 crystal-lead vase from a South Lake Tahoe home.
“When one of the residents opened the door, the trophy was in plain view inside the house,” Brown said, explaining that because of the trophy’s location he had probable cause to enter the house and retrieve it.
Brown said the individual who took the trophy admitted his actions to other people. Brown said the investigation is continuing and more arrests are likely.
Wilson, a member of the U.S. freestyle ski team, won the moguls event Jan. 23 at Heavenly Ski Resort. He reported the trophy missing from his room at Horizon Casino Resort on Jan. 25 as he was packing to leave.
Latoya Sheree Lewis, a housekeeper, was implicated by a hotel inspector, who said she saw the trophy hidden in a laundry bag on Lewis’ cart. Lewis allegedly admitted to taking the trophy from the room, but said she thought it was vase because it contained “dead” flowers. She also reportedly said she noticed the words “First place” on the trophy, but thought nothing of it. Lewis said she left the trophy on her cart at the end of her shift.
Lewis was arrested and charged with grand larceny, resisting arrest and battery on an officer. Investigators said it’s likely that Lewis will still face charges because of her alleged admission to taking the trophy and due to her alleged resistance of the deputy. She is accused of striking him in the face and kicking him in the legs.
Heavenly was already in the process of replacing Wilson’s trophy. Molly Cuffe, communications coordinator, said the resort would try to stop the order depending on how far along the process had gone.
“We’re very excited about it being found,” Cuffe said. “We hope it gets back in the proper hands as soon as possible. It was a hard-earned trophy.”
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