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O.J. Simpson's stolen Heisman Trophy recovered 20 years later

O.J. Simpson's stolen Heisman Trophy recovered 20 years later
O.J. Simpson's personal Heisman Trophy, seen in 1999, was the centerpiece at a court-ordered auction at Butterfield and Butterfield that year. USC's trophy was stolen in 1994. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles police say they have recovered O.J. Simpson's 1968 Heisman Trophy that was stolen from a display case at USC more than 20 years ago.

The trophy -- the crowning award in college football -- was USC's copy of the statue and was on display in the athletic department when it was stolen in July 1994.

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The announcement Tuesday comes a month after detectives had gone to court seeking a search warrant for phone records for an unnamed person who they said was connected to the theft.

Detectives from LAPD’s art theft detail recovered the trophy Dec. 16, but only announced it Tuesday. 

LAPD Officer Drake Madison said no further details would be released because the decades-old theft is still considered an ongoing investigation.

Simpson's Heisman and USC football jersey were stolen in 1994 from display cases in the lobby of the school's athletic department. Someone had apparently unscrewed the covers off the cases.

Both the university and the player receive Heismans. Simpson reportedly later sold his own copy to help defray court costs

At the time of the theft, police believed two thieves were responsible. Soon after, the break-in was reported to LAPD, but the items were never recovered and the thieves were never identified.

School officials had moved the items from Heritage Hall after Simpson was arrested in connection with the slaying of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Lyle Goldman. Days later, the valuables were returned to Heritage Hall.

The Dec. 1 search warrant was issued for MetroPCS phone records, including tracking information, for a man whose name was redacted on the warrant.

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA.

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