Nearly two weeks after burglars broke in and stole five century old trophies, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is back open. YNN's Matt Hunter was outside the museum with more on the investigation to recover the priceless antiques.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – At the end of a two week vacation from their home in Virginia, Tom and Barbara McKittrick spent Tuesday at Saratoga's National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
"We've heard about this track and wanted to come by and see it and it's terrific," Tom McKittrick said.
The McKittricks were among the first guests to visit the museum after it reopened Tuesday following a major burglary earlier this month.
"That was not mentioned or obvious to us at all and it is a shame somebody would do something that,” Barbara McKittrick said.
"Maybe it's a sign of the economic times, but it's awful and I hope they recover it," Tom McKittrick said.
According to Saratoga Springs Police, burglars escaped with five priceless century old trophies in the September 12th heist. They're almost certain the same people are behind a December burglary at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen where 15 trophies were taken.
"The items or tools, so to speak, that were used during the course of the burglary, entry methods, all the same," Saratoga Springs Police Lieutenant John Catone said.
"The trouble with these burglaries is they're in and out so quickly, authorities don't have time to respond and catch them," said Janet Terhune, the harness racing museum’s director.
In addition to working with law enforcement agencies across the northeast, local police are working with prominent antique and art dealers who are more experienced with these types of thefts.
The Racing Museum is now offering a $20,000 reward to anyone with information leading to an arrest.
"At the end of the day, are we going to find somebody right away? Probably not, but certainly that's our goal," Catone said.
"It's terrible,” Tom McKittrick said. “It's a beautiful museum, racing's a wonderful sport, it's been here since the beginning and I think it's a terrible thing for somebody to do that and I hope they recover it and put the guys behind bars."
According to Catone, a major arts and antique expo is scheduled for next month in New York City, which attracts the top people in the industry from around the world. Investigators are planning to attend in hopes of finding a few more leads.
Located on Union Avenue across from Saratoga Race Course, the museum has resumed its fall hours, open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.