Rings stolen from former Tech punter
by Hilary Butschek
August 13, 2014 04:00 AM | 1682 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SMYRNA — Police are asking for help to find a burglar who stole more than $20,000 worth of jewelry and a handgun from a former Georgia Tech football player.

Melvin Whatley, a former punter for the Georgia Institute of Technology from 1997-98, reported two of his college football championship rings were stolen from his home between July 16 and July 20.

Whatley was also a linebacker and punter for the Air Force Academy from 1994-96.

“There was a lot of other stuff taken, but for me the rings were sentimental,” Whatley said. “I played roughly 16 plus years of football, and I got those rings at the end of my career. I kind of see those as a physical representation of all the blood, sweat and tears I put in.”

Whatley, who now works as a business and technology consultant for Decision First Technologies in Vinings, told police his Smyrna home was burglarized while he was out of town.

When he returned home, he said he found the armoire where he kept all his jewelry had been ripped out of the wall and his door had been left open.

The two rings were a 1998 Georgia Tech Atlantic Coast Conference championship ring and a 1995 Air Force Western Athletic Conference championship ring, said Officer Chris Graeff, spokesman for the Smyrna police.

In addition, a Glock 9 millimeter handgun was stolen from the house with more than $15,000 worth of jewelry, Graeff said.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact the Smyrna Police Department tip line at (844) 773-8477 or for completely anonymous tips, contact Crime Stoppers at (404) 557-8477.

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