January 12, 2016

Local authorities in England are now on the lookout for a thief who presumably made a 100-metre dash away from the scene with a pair of Usain Bolt-autographed running shoes that were stolen from a car recently.

Living legend Usain Bolt's running shoes appear to be a hot commodity, following the theft of one of his autographed pairs from a parked BMW motor vehicle on December 21, 2015 in St Albans in southern Hertfordshire, England.

The perpetrator is said to have smashed a window to gain entry to the vehicle, taking the pair of shoes complete, with a signed certificate of authenticity and a photo of Bolt.

The blue and red Puma trainers were reportedly purchased by its owner at a charity auction for a hefty sum, which has not been disclosed.

The police have since been making an appeal for witnesses to come forward with any information leading to the successful recovery of the item.

The recent theft of a pair of Usain Bolt's trainers is not a first, as another prized pair of Puma track shoes valued at approximately PS20,000 (J$3.5 million) was taken by crooks in the town of Croydon in London, England, in May of 2014. That pair, too, has not been recovered.

When THE STAR contacted Bolt's executive manager, Nugent 'NJ' Walker, the theft was confirmed to be yet another in a series of similar incidents.

"I saw it in the media," he said.

"I generally don't know how much this one went for, we usually make donations of apparel, spikes to various charitable organisations. I presume if it is official, someone will reach out to us, and we will sign one and send it back to them. Nobody has contacted us officially, more than what we have seen in the media. But as always, if they need to be replaced, that's '1, 2, 3', in a sense," he said.


Bolt is said to be not too troubled by the incident, according to his executive manager.

"He always finds it amusing," Walker said.

Walker explained that trainers are typically auctioned off to raise funds and fetch as much as US$20,000 (J$2.4 million) to US$50,000 (J$6 million).

"Of course, if it is one that was used in the Olympics, you know that one carries a significant price as opposed to just a normal training spikes. Those things determine what a pair may go for," he said.

Meanwhile, British officials are urging persons with information leading to the whereabouts of the missing spikes to contact them.

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