Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky was “duped’’ into signing a stolen piece of Fenway Park by a Weymouth man who falsely claimed he needed money to pay medical bills for a sick child as part of a scam to sell stolen Red Sox memorabilia, authorities said today.
Jamie Pritchard-Holland, 32, was arrested May 4 by detectives in New York State after they discovered Holland was trying to sell a center field distance marker signed by Pesky and some other Red Sox items through the Leland auction house in Long Island, officials said.
New York authorities alleged that Pritchard-Holland also wanted to sell a pair of cleats belonging to second baseman Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis's first-base glove, a home plate stolen from the Fenway Park bullpen, and numerous uniforms, caps, helmets, and jackets.
Pritchard-Holland pleaded not guilty to third-degree criminal possession of stolen property in a New York courtroom and was released on personal recognizance. He is due back in a New York court on June 7.
Thomas Spota, district attorney of Suffolk County, N.Y., said in a statement that Pritchard-Holland convinced the auction house that he needed to sell his Red Sox collection because his child was ill and medical bills were mounting.
According to prosecutors, the Pesky family “was duped by the tale of (Pritchard) Holland’s sick child‘’ and had the Red Sox legend sign a section of the fence stolen from center field at Fenway Park, marking 380 feet from home plate.
The items were stolen from Fenway Park in April 2010, but it is unclear how he obtained them, officials said today.
According to a report released today, the Red Sox security chief reported the theft to Boston police on April 16, 2010.
“The director of security for Fenway Park reports an unknown male entered the clubhouse garage on Van Ness Street and stole 4 black duffel bags containing Red Sox equipment valued between $8,000 and $10,000,’’ police said in the report.
The report indicates the theft likely took place between 2:40 a.m. and 3:15 a.m.
Pritchard-Holland also faces prosecution in Boston Municipal Court for two counts of receiving stolen property in connection with the Fenway Park thefts, according to Suffolk (Mass.) District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office in Boston.
Suffolk (NY) District Attorney
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