IRL memorabilia shop ripped off, vandalized

UPDATE Sinden Racing Service, the company that manages the IndyCar Series' Indy Fan Zone, is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the return of several IndyCar Series driver helmets that were stolen from the Indy Fan Zone in the early morning of June 16.

The helmets belonging to Danica Patrick, Helio Castroneves, Dan Wheldon, Sarah Fisher, Ed Carpenter and Ryan Hunter-Reay were a few of the many items that thieves were able to get away with.

"The damages can and will be repaired and we're working hard to get the Fan Zone repaired quickly to support as many races as we can the remainder of the season," said John Lewis, vice president of marketing and league development for the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights. "Our biggest concern is that these helmets have some incredible sentimental value to our drivers, and we want to make all efforts to get them returned."

If individuals have any information about this crime or the whereabouts of these items, they are asked to call the local Indianapolis Crimestoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

06/18/08 INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – It appears that some local thieves might not be fans of open wheel racing. Sinden Racing Service was broken into Monday night and vandals got away with a carload of race car related goods.

Six racing helmets belonging to drivers like Danica Patrick and Helio Castroneves were taken. Dan Wheldon's helmet that he wore in last year's win at Homestead is also gone.

Also on the list of stolen goods are four IBM laptop computers, two DVD players, two Xbox systems and some high-end watches.

"They somehow got into our trailer, which was locked, possibly pried the door open and apparently they knew what was inside," said Chase Eaton of the Indy Racing League.

All the items were in the Indy Fan Zone trailer, which was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and holds the Indy Racing League Championship Cup. The trophy was left intact with no damage.

"I don't know if it is because they were smart and realized there wasn't much they could do with it or they just couldn't figure out how to get it out. But that trophy, luckily, was one of the few things of extreme value that was left intact," said Eaton.

The crimes extended beyond theft.

The intruders left behind a lot of damage that will take weeks to repair and will ultimately hurt the fan experience.

"We have to figure out a new plan…where to store them, how to keep them. It had alarms, it was fully decked out with good locks but it just proves if someone wants something bad enough they are going to get it," said Drew Coomes of the Indy Racing Experience.

The Indy Racing League is looking for the public's help to find the thieves.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS. WishTV 8

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