Suspect accused of stealing ‘significant amount of Lynyrd Skynyrd memorabilia’ ID’d by Florida police

Florida

The memorabilia, which was stolen along with the trailer that contained it, was scheduled to be auctioned off to benefit a cancer charity the following day.

(NEXSTAR) – He’s been free as a bird for about a month, but Lord help him, that may change.

Police in Florida are currently asking for the public’s help in locating a 38-year-old man accused of stealing a trailer containing “a significant amount” of memorabilia connected to Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Southern rock band whose major hits include “Free Bird,” “Tuesday’s Gone” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”

The memorabilia, along with the trailer, had disappeared from the parking lot of a Days Inn hotel in Orange Park on April 9, just one day before the items were intended to be auctioned off at a cancer benefit in Middleburg, Florida.

The organizers of the Jimmie Van Zant Cancer Benefit — named for late musician Jimmie Van Zant, who was also a cousin of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Donnie, Johnny and Ronnie Van Zant — had said that some of the stolen memorabilia included musical equipment, autographed photos, and a 1957 Les Paul guitar signed by Gregg Allman, Lita Ford and “many more” prominent rock artists.

The trailer also held soaps, candles and glassware to be sold at the April 10 benefit, as well as a brand-new DW snare drum that would have been a raffle prize.

Altogether, the benefit’s organizers estimate they lost $12,000 worth of merchandise and memorabilia.

“We had large hopes of making great money at the event, however without much to sell, well we actually lost money,” the charity group wrote on Facebook.

Now, police in Orange Park say they’ve obtained an arrest warrant for William James Walker, who they believe to be responsible for the theft.

“Walker is known to live transiently, frequenting different hotels in the Jacksonville area,” police wrote on Facebook. Officials also asked anyone with information of his whereabouts to contact the department at 904-264-555 or call First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).

The people at the Jimmie Van Zant Cancer Charity, meanwhile, said on Facebook that the April 10 benefit was still a “success” thanks to supporters who donated their own time, money and memorabilia upon hearing of the theft. Their next benefit show is being organized for November, according to a recent post.

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