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Umpire Is Caught Stealing Baseball Cards

April 25, 1990

A veteran National League umpire was charged with stealing 4,180 baseball cards from a Target retail store in Bakersfield, authorities said.

Bob Engel, 56, was released on $5,000 bail from Kern County Jail Saturday and is scheduled to be arraigned May 2 on misdemeanor counts of commercial burglary and petty theft, police said.

A Target security officer told police that Engel put seven boxes of Score brand baseball cards, valued at $143.98, into a brown paper bag he pulled from the waist band of his pants.

Engel was detained as he walked out of the store with the bag, police said.

Engel, who completed his first full year in the major leagues in 1966, was back at work Sunday, when he was first-base umpire at the Dodger-Houston Astro game.

Engel was home plate umpire at Tuesday night's Padre-Chicago Cub game at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.

"At this time I'm not making any comment about it," Engel said.

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