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FBI: Armored car thieves went on baseball card spending spree

November 4, 1997

MIAMI (AP) _ Two suspects in a $2.7 million armored car robbery were caught with $400,000 in cash and a pile of purchases, including hoards of baseball cards and other sports memorabilia, the FBI said.

Bobby O’Neal Negri Jr., 30, of Prague, Okla., and Michael Brandon Lutz, 23, of Claremore, Okla., were arrested Friday night at a $279-a-night Fort Lauderdale hotel suite where they had been staying since Sept. 26, said FBI agent Gregory Jones.

The FBI took 11 suitcases, two bicycles, a VCR and possessions that filled 42 boxes and two trash bags from the suite. Clothes were stacked halfway up the walls and there were some expensive watches in the hotel rooms, Jones said.

Investigators found an additional $1.7 million in a Tallahassee storage warehouse.

Authorities found the men after getting a tip from the television show ``America’s Most Wanted.″

Negri and Lutz faced a court hearing that could lead to their being returned to Oklahoma to face trial on armored-car theft charges, the FBI said.

Authorities say Negri stole the money on his 30th birthday from the Loomis, Fargo and Co. armored truck he was left guarding when his partner went for breakfast halfway between Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

Left in the truck were Negri’s pistol and a postcard that read: ``Is Paris this nice this time of year? Oui. Bye.″

But Negri and his friend went not to Paris but to Florida, where the FBI said they were spotted at Walt Disney World on the Fourth of July and at a Lakeland baseball card auction.

``These guys can quote to you chapter and verse statistics and batting averages,″ Jones said.

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