NBCSN IndyCar analyst Townsend Bell just lost a large part of his racing career and he’s asking the motorsports community to keep its eyes and ears open.
While Bell was in Daytona Beach, Florida this past weekend to compete in the Rolex 24 Hours, his Los Angeles home was burglarized.
The thieves got away with a substantial part of memorabilia from Bell’s racing career, including rings and other mementos.
According to a report by The Associated Press, the thieves took 10 rings from his appearances in the Indianapolis 500, a ring for winning the 2001 Indy Lights championship, a Rolex watch for being on the winning team in the 2014 Rolex 24 Hours and also another Rolex for winning the IMSA title in 2015.
“All the work you put in to get all that stuff, and at least you have recognition of the achievement, and now it’s gone,” Bell said to AP.
Bell’s home was among five that were burglarized in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles, which is located just north of Santa Monica and runs along the Pacific Ocean.
Not only was jewelry stolen, also taken was a safe, a locked drawer in a closet was removed and the overall house was ransacked, Bell told the AP.
Bell’s family did not want to tell him about the burglary because he was competing in the Rolex, so he wasn’t made aware of the theft until he returned home late Sunday night after competing and finishing fifth in class in the race.
But Bell tried to take the theft in stride.
“I don’t really think I’d be focused on a stolen Rolex while I was racing,” he told the AP. “Well, actually, I’m back to zero now on Rolex watches, so maybe I would have been thinking during the race I had to win because I’ve got to start my whole collection over now.”
The thieves may have a hard time fencing much of Bell’s memorabilia as all items are engraved with his name, year and achievement, according to the AP. Bell tweeted to the motorsports community to keep their eyes open if the pilfered mementos wind up on places like Ebay or Southern California area pawn shops.
As the saying goes, if you see something that’s related to Bell, say something.
According to police, the thieves scaled a six-foot privacy wall and broke into the house through a master bedroom window.
Los Angeles police investigators are working the case.