When his shop was burglarized earlier this month, Bill Ayers lost a cellphone, laptop and his cash register. But the longtime Lighthouse Water owner is more worried about getting back his Barry Zito, Will Clark and Pete Rose. Those and five other prized autographed baseballs were all stolen.
A collector of sports memorabilia, Ayers was robbed of some of his most beloved pieces that he displayed in his shop. Among the items was a hockey puck autographed by Wayne Gretzky and a photo of 49ers greats Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, also signed. He estimated the total value of the stolen collectibles topped $1,100, although he valued them more for sentimental reasons. He’s worried the thief might try to unload the items quickly by selling them online.
The burglary occurred early in the morning on March 9. Over the same night, someone also broke inside the San Benito Ale House and stole a cash register and keys to the business and the upstairs lodging. A video camera at the business reportedly caught the suspect during the incident, but it is not clear whether San Mateo County Sheriff’s investigators have reviewed the footage yet.
After the Lighthouse Water burglary in Strawflower Village, Ayers received a phone call from a woman in Moss Beach. She said she found pieces of the cash register dumped off the side of the road. When his family picked up the pieces, they also recovered a customer’s cashier’s check left in the register.
Ayers hopes Sheriff’s deputies are able to track down his missing collectibles. Sheriff’s officials say they are still investigating the crimes.
“If they catch them, they catch them,” he said. “But I hope it’s not someone I know.”