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Ex-Sabre helps out one of his fans Stolen Ray memento returned to owner

Like any good Buffalo Sabres fan, Jessica MacKinnon was rightfully upset when three Sabres jerseys were stolen from her South Buffalo home last month.

Among them was her prized autographed jersey of former Sabre and tough guy Rob Ray.

Well, thanks to some diligent police work, MacKinnon got the jersey back Friday afternoon.

And it was none other than her hero, Ray, who hand-delivered it.

"Glad to see you have it back," Ray told her, as he autographed it again, while the two were in the office of Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson.

The story begins on Dec. 29, when a MacKinnon acquaintance was visiting her. MacKinnon, 24, ducked into the bathroom, and the man rifled through her apartment.

When she emerged, MacKinnon saw him with the Ray jersey, a Martin Biron jersey, and her blue-and-gold throwback jersey of Rory Fitzpatrick. The man also grabbed her Sabres season tickets, which she received as a present from her family.

When she tried to stop him from leaving with the Sabres gear, he punched her in the mouth.

The incident was reported to South District Detectives Dave Piech and Mark Fitzpatrick. Piech, and South District Officers Kathleen Brown and Johnathon Clemons, tracked down the suspect on Jan. 13 at his Lackawanna home, where they found the Biron and Fitzpatrick jerseys.

Christopher W. Milholland, 21, was charged with robbery and assault.

Milholland, Piech said, scalped the tickets, although the Sabres replaced them when MacKinnon told the organization what happened.

And police returned the Biron and Fitzpatrick jerseys to MacKinnon, a cafeteria worker for the City of Tonawanda School District.

But still unanswered at the time was what happened to the Ray jersey.

Milholland steered police to a house on Wasson Street, where they found the jersey.

Fitzpatrick, who knew Ray from various charitable events, decided that asking the Sabres alum to present the jersey to MacKinnon would be a nice way to end the case. And Ray agreed.

MacKinnon, a Sabres fan since she was a kid, was surprised to see Ray when she showed up at Gipson's office Friday with her dad, James, and stepmother, Maureen.

"I'll teach her a few things, so next time she can handle the situation," Ray said.


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