September 15, 2007 in Nation/World

Simpson is suspect in robbery

Kathleen Hennessey and Linda Deutsch Associated Press
 
File Associated Press photo

O.J. Simpson in a 2004 interview. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

LAS VEGAS – O.J. Simpson says he went into a casino hotel room only to retrieve memorabilia that he felt was stolen from him. But police are investigating it as an armed robbery and named the fallen football star as a suspect Friday.

Simpson insisted that there were no guns involved and that he went to the room at the Palace Station casino only to get stolen mementos that included his Hall of Fame certificate and a picture of the running back with J. Edgar Hoover. “It’s stolen stuff that’s mine. Nobody was roughed up,” Simpson said.

Las Vegas Metro Police Capt. James Dillon said the confrontation was reported as an armed robbery involving guns. But he said no weapons had been recovered and stressed that the investigation was in its “infancy.”

Simpson was questioned by police immediately after the incident Thursday night, and a formal interview was being arranged, Dillon said. No charges had been filed, and no one was in custody.

Simpson said auction house owner Tom Riccio called him several weeks ago to say some collectors “have a lot of your stuff, and they don’t want anyone to know they are selling it.”

Simpson, who was in Las Vegas for a friend’s wedding, said he arranged to meet Riccio at the hotel. Riccio had set up a meeting with collectors under the guise that he had a private collector interested in buying Simpson’s items.

Simpson said he was accompanied by several men he met at a wedding cocktail party, and they took the collectibles.

A message left for Riccio was not immediately returned.

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