Can we see licence, rego and cup ...

By Dana Johannsen

Tales of the colourful history of the Louis Vuitton Cup continue to emerge with a well-placed member of San Francisco's sailing community revealing the trophy was at the centre of a police chase this month.

After yesterday's revelation that the silverware, which is awarded to the winner of the America's Cup challenger series, was damaged by Team New Zealand in a game of rugby following their victory in 2007, the Herald has discovered the trophy was reported stolen in the lead-up to this year's final.

The cup was on display at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Belvedere, a town northeast of the Golden Gate Bridge, as part of a gala dinner.

During the evening, club officials were alarmed to discover the trophy had been swiped from its pedestal.

Among the club's members was a district attorney who called police.

There is just one main highway in and out of Belvedere, which is monitored by licence plate-reading technology. Every vehicle that passes in and out of the town is recorded.

Police quickly put their surveillance equipment to use, identifying a suspicious vehicle with out-of-town licence plates making a getaway.

The suspicious vehicle was pulled over about 12km down the highway, and officers discovered the trophy after a search of the car.

A spokesperson from the Belvedere police department told the Herald the driver was briefly detained then released after it was discovered a mix-up had occurred. The man in possession of the trophy was a representative of Louis Vuitton who was returning the cup to the organisation.

- NZ Herald

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