T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair .
There's a thief on the loose who has a taste for significant sporting trophies. And, the thief in question, dresses like a ninja -- swaddled from head to toe.
Yes, a ninja.
His method was neither high-tech nor elegant -- he kicked in doors and smashed glass cases. But his taste was impeccable, and sporting: his haul included the 1903 Belmont Stakes trophy, a silver Fabergé soup tureen and ladle given by Czar Nicholas II of Russia to an American harness horse impresario and the United States Amateur Championship trophy that completed golfer Bobby Jones's Grand Slam in 1930.
Along with the U.S. Amateur Trophy, the ninja thief also made off with the Hickok Belt Ben Hogan received in 1953 as the nation's top professional athlete.
The report says that this thief first came to the attention of authorities in New Jersey in May 2012 when Somerset Hills Country Club reported trophies had been taken from its clubhouse.
Just one week later, the ninja thief broke into the USGA Museum for the golf score.
"We don't discuss value, but we consider it significant," Joe Goode, a spokesman for the United States Golf Association, said of the belt. "And the U.S. Am Trophy is priceless, as it dates back to 1926 and was the trophy that completed Jones’s Grand Slam in 1930."
So far, the elusive ninja is still on the loose.
As far as we know, the suspect wasn't this golf ninja:
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair .