Two men from Ottumwa, Iowa have been charged with stealing TNA Wrestling’s World Heavyweight Championship belt last month.
Sources from the professional wrestling organization tell TMZ.com that the belt was stolen Aug. 18th in Ottumwa, Iowa prior to a live event while a stagehand was unloading props from his truck.
One of the suspects grabbed the belt, valued at $6,000, and a $400 replica, when the stagehand wasn’t looking. The suspect and his accomplice were later identified by police using surveillance footage.
Joel Luke, 33, and Forrest Jamison, 39, were arrested Wednesday before posting bail and being released. Luke was charged with 2nd-degree theft and Jamison was charged with accessory. Luke’s bail was set at $5,000 while Jamison’s was set at $3,000.
Though TMZ.com reports the belts have since been returned to TNA Wrestling, a source says they are being held as evidence by Ottumwa Police Department.
Note from Rajah: A reader sent this in, take it for what it’s worth:
— TMZ is reporting what TNA told them – which is not the truth. The belts have not been returned to TNA. The police in Ottumwa still have them and are keeping them for evidence pending trial. Also, they weren’t stolen from the equipment truck when a stage hand turned away momentarily as reported.
— The Police Chief is a close friend of mine and I know how they were really stolen. TNA is trying to cover their butts so they don’t look foolish. TNA told the police the belt was valued at $6,000.00, but that’s not what they paid for it. The police have the bill of sale from Wildcat Belts and the price is GREATLY exaggerated.
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