Racers’ beloved helmets heisted

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Indy Racing League and one of its partners are offering a bounty to help corral scofflaws who stole several priceless items that series drivers want back.

Sinden Racing Service, the locally based company that manages the IRL’s Indy Fan Zone, is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the return of several 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, IRL vice president of marketing and league development. “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, IRL officials are asking them to call the local Indianapolis Crimestoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

The Indy Fan Zone is managed by and was parked at Sinden Racing Services, 2A Gasoline Alley in Speedway, where the break-in took place. There were several other thefts reported in the area within 24 hours of the Sinden Racing Services crime that the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police are investigating.

The Indy Fan Zone travels from race to race throughout the IRL season, offering fans an up-close look at the sport throughout the race weekend.

The six helmets include Fisher’s fan-autographed helmet wishing her luck in her return to the IRL at Kentucky in 2006, Wheldon’s helmet that he wore in winning the 2007 season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Castroneves’ helmet from his first Indy 500 victory.

In addition to the helmets, other items stolen included DVD players, laptop computers, Xbox 360 gaming units, microphones and watches. Additionally, damage was done to a number of the display cases.

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