A janitor at Citizens Bank Park was thrown out trying to steal a Phillies official's 2008 World Series ring, allegedly taking it from one bathroom and stashing it in another, authorities said yesterday.
John Brazer, the team's director of publicity, had left his $10,500 ring in an executive-suite-level men's room on Monday.
When Anthony Mobley, 54, an employee of a cleaning service subcontracted by the Phillies, found the ring, he pocketed it and hid it a "significant distance" away in a public men's room in the Hall of Fame Club, South Detectives Capt. Laurence Nodiff said.
Mobley, of Church Lane near 16th Street, Ogontz, was charged yesterday with theft and receiving stolen property, Nodiff said.
"He had secreted it, wrapped in a paper towel, up on a shelf where he actually had to climb up in a supply closet [to retrieve it]," Nodiff said.
In an e-mail to the Daily News, Brazer wrote, "[I'm] very relieved that I got it back thanks to hard work by our internal security team and the Philadelphia Police Department, particularly the South District Police. The ring is now in a safe deposit box which won't be opened for a long time."
Police used surveillance video and other security measures to identify the limited number of people who accessed the restroom after the ring was misplaced.
Mobley, who was considered a "person of interest," was brought to South Detectives for an interview yesterday morning, and at about 10 a.m. he led investigators to where he had hidden the ring, Nodiff said.
The "finder's-keepers" rule didn't apply, because not only was the ring traceable and one of a limited few, but it had its owner's name engraved inside, Nodiff said.
"Our position is clearly that this is a theft," he said. "It's not as though you found a candy bar on the floor of somewhere."
Nodiff said that Mobley might have had second thoughts that led him to hide the ring inside the ballpark instead of trying to leave with it right away but that those actions didn't dilute the nature of the crime.
"This guy could have been a hero instead of somebody who's awaiting charges," he said.
The ring has 103 diamonds and commemorates the team's 2008 championship over Tampa Bay.