Neal returned to his Fresno County home with his family Tuesday and discovered pieces of his NFL past had been stolen. He's offering a five thousand dollar reward for their return. "25 years of doing this sport and in one day or a couple of hours, someone comes in and takes that from you, part of your life that you can't replace. That's what's tough," said Neal.
Neal listed some of the items taken in Twitter messages and asked fans to be on the lookout on Craigslist and EBay. The stolen memorabilia includes jerseys from his 16 years in the NFL and items autographed from other sports greats. "These are not cheesy items you'd buy at a swap meet. These are very high end items worth a lot of money," said Fresno County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Chris Cutice.
Fresno County Sheriff's detectives wouldn't say how the thieves got inside Neal's home but confirmed it was a forced entry. They're asking neighbors with security cameras to come forward in hopes of following up on a few leads. In the meantime, Neal says he's thankful he and his family weren't home at the time of the crime. "We just hope someone out there is listening and they feel the need to do the right thing," said Neal.
Sheriff's investigators said they don't know if Neal was specifically targeted, but based on what was taken, it's a definite possibility. It also appears whoever broke in was there for an extended period of time.