Former OSU Player Finds Stolen Cotton Bowl Ring On Craigslist

Thursday, October 20th 2011, 10:15 pm
By: News On 6

Lori Fullbright, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A former OSU player had his 2004 Cotton Bowl ring stolen during a burglary in the summer of 2010. He thought it was gone forever, but Thursday it popped up on Craigslist.

A Tulsa police officer recovered it. So you'd think this story has a happy ending, but maybe not.

The victim wants his stolen ring back, but the man who bought it doesn't want to be out his $300. So the ring is sitting in the police property room until a judge decides who gets to keep it.

Ben Buie played center for the OSU Cowboys. He broke his leg in this game against Kansas in 2004. Two games later when the team went to the Cotton Bowl, he didn't get to play. But he was there to support his team.

"You go and stand on the sidelines and it's a fun deal, bowl games are fun," Buie said.

It's the kind of memory you want to tell your kids and grandkids about someday. That ring has tons of sentimental value.

"Means a lot, not something you can really replace. It's a memory I have. I don't really wear it, but it's a token of something I did in my; life that I'd like to have going forward," he said.

In the summer of 2010, Ben and his wife had their home broken into. The thieves went through everything and took a laptop, watches, electronics and Ben's cotton Bowl ring.

They looked for their stuff on Craigslist for awhile, and then finally gave up.

"My cousin Katie called and said, ‘you'll never guess what we just found on Craigslist, your bowl ring is on there.' I was like, ‘are you sure?' She says ‘yes, it has Buie on the side of it, that's your bowl ring.'"

Buie called police and Corporal Gene Watkins contacted the man selling it in Bartlesville, who said he bought it from somebody else. Watkins drove up there and got the ring. Police say it's rare to recover this type of loot from a burglary.

"It's very difficult to do, especially something sentimental," Watkins said.

But the Bartlesville man doesn't want to be out his money, so he doesn't want to give up the ring, and of course, Buie wants it back. If he does get it back, he knows just where he'll put it.

"I think we'll probably put it in the safe deposit box this time, be a little safer with it," he said.

When two people lay claim to the same property, it has to go through a proprietary hearing at court, which in Tulsa is held the last Friday of every month. The judge will listen to both sides, and then decide who gets the ring.

It's not a lock that Ben will get it back, but there is a mentality of buyer beware when it comes to these things. In the meantime, police will try to trace the ring back to the person who stole it.