Historical relics, valuable rings stolen from U campus

This year marked two thefts of items with great monetary and sentimental value. Two valuable Books of Mormon were stolen from the LDS Institute of Religion, and Utah football head coach Kyle Whittingham’s championship rings were stolen.

The theft of a safe containing two rare copies of the Book of Mormon was reported to the University of Utah Police Department on Nov. 8.

Inside the safe was an 1840 edition of the Book of Mormon printed in Nauvoo, Ill., and an 1841 copy printed in Liverpool, England.

Each book was valued at approximately $20,000.

Institute Director Allan Gunnerson said those were the two most valuable books the institute owned.

But Gunnerson said he did not feel the monetary loss of the books as much as the loss of the books as a teaching material.

Though the books were not used often, institute teachers would show the books to classes who were studying church history or the Book of Mormon.

The books disappeared sometime between Oct. 26 and Nov. 7.

As of January, the University of Utah Police Department still does not know who is responsible for taking the Books of Mormon.

Last September, eight championship rings belonging to U football coach Kyle Whittingham were stolen out of a display case in the Dee Glen Smith Athletic Center.

The rings were valued at $500 each. Four of the rings were for U championships, and the other four were from his playing days at Brigham Young University.

Immediately after the theft, Whittingham said that although he was upset by the loss of his rings, he wanted to focus on the then-upcoming football game against Air Force. The Utes won the game, but as of this January, Whittingham’s rings are still missing.

[email protected]