NANAIMO — A happy ending is on the way for a Nanaimo boxing coach who had some prized belongings stolen.
On Wednesday afternoon, a man called the NanaimoNewsNOW newsroom to report he found the brown bag stolen from Bob Pegues' car overnight Sunday near a business on Barons Rd., not far from where it was taken. A pair of championship boxing belts were still in the bag, unharmed, he said.
During a phone call Wednesday night, Pegues said he was beyond excited to hear he would get his hands back on the hard-earned belt.
He believed widespread media coverage made the items "too hot" to sell, leading the thief to ditch them.
"I had so many calls. People stopped me on the street, 'Are the guy that lost the belt?'"
The men planned to meet Thursday to complete the happy ending and return the belt to the hands that earned it.
A Nanaimo boxing coach says he's frustrated and sick after his hard-earned world championship belt was among the items stolen from his car.
Nanaimo RCMP say the belt, some trophies and several other pieces of boxing gear were stolen out of Bob Pegues' car sometime overnight on Sept. 10 while it was parked at the Rosedale Manor on Departure Bay Rd. behind Country Club Centre.
"When I realized my belt was in the bag I was sick," Pegues told NanaimoNewsNOW. "The odds are I will likely never get that belt back, it's very frustrating. It leaves a big hole really and to think it has absolutely no value to anyone else."
Pegues earned the belt several years ago at the age of 60 by winning the World Masters Championship at an event in Kansas City. He took the belt and other items to Victoria to display at a golf tournament and, much to his regret, left them in his car while shuttling multiple loads back to his apartment.
"Now at almost 65 I'm not going to fight for it again. It about near killed me at 60," he said chuckling. "I never really put a lot of thought into how valuable that belt was to me until it was gone. Invaluable really."
Also in the stolen bag was a championship belt recently won by one of Pegues' students at an event in the U.S. Pegues coaches out of a local gym and also with the provincial and national boxing teams.
Pegues said he went to the downtown tent city on Monday looking for his stolen gear and spotted someone wearing his easily identifiable Team B.C. jacket.
"As I'm walking in the gate I saw my jacket go out the other gate. I followed the guy around and called 911 but by the time anyone got there the guy figured out I was following him and took off."
He said the people at tent city knew he was looking for something so he'll give it a few days and then go back again.
Nanaimo RCMP said they are investigating the theft and have their eyes on local pawn shops.
"We have our eyes out, some sources on the street and we're hoping to get a hit on this stuff," Cst. Gary O'Brien said.
Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.
On Twitter: @domabassi
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