The Nuggets' J.R. Smith had a rough season, spending more time in the doghouse than outside it. But the doghouse may have been safer than the Cherry Hills Country Club mansion he's been renting. Burglars messed with his Mercedes, stole expensive watches, and made off with $15,000 in "gambling money."
According to documents provided by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office (to read them, click here), the incident took place on April 28, while the Nuggets were winning their last game of the year in their first-round playoff matchup against the Utah Jazz.
Smith, who was a non-factor in several of the Nuggets' losses to the Jazz in the series, had a strong night, going four for five from beyond the arc and scoring seventeen points. But upon returning to their gated community with housemate/employee Laquan Johnson, he was quickly brought back down to earth.
In the ACSO report, Johnson notes that he and J.R., who's referred to in the narrative by his given name, Earl, left for the game at about 6:45 p.m. -- and he's not sure a door he'd used to enter the house earlier had been locked behind him.
Here's Johnson's account of what he and Smith found upon their return, at about 12:30 a.m.:
• They saw that one of the garage doors was now open.
• They entered the garage and saw the door to Earl's Mercedes was standing open.
• The glove box and center console had been opened and the garage door opener was missing. (no damage reported)
• They then entered the house.
• Earl went into his room, walked directly to his closet and noticed that 4 Louis Vaitton luggage bags ($1,500 a piece) had been stolen.
• One of the bags contained $15,000 in cash.
• Earl also noticed that the top drawer in his night stand was open and 1 G-Shock watch valued at $200 and 1 Panerai watch valued at $5,000 were now missing.
• Laquan went up to his room and noticed that someone had pulled clothes out of his drawers and tossed them all over the floor.
• A black Oakley sports bag ($45) containing $2,000 in cash was missing from the left side of his bed.
The pair didn't call the authorities right away, and neither did they spend the evening in the house. Out of concern about the missing garage-door opener, Johnson said, Smith decided they should stay the night at the Ritz Carlton downtown. Only afterward did they reach out to the sheriff's office.
Smith's account of what happened is said to have duplicated Johnson's in most respects -- but he did add some intriguing details:
• The money kept in the luggage was used as gambling money.
• He has no idea who may have burglarized his house.
• Last night he did not call the police because he didn't want the press catching wind of this and that he wanted to talk with his parents before he did anything about the burglary.
• When he spoke to his father this morning he was told that the insurance company would need a police report before they could file a claim.
The kicker? The security cameras covering the front entrance of the country club weren't turned on that night, so there was no footage that might have helped the ACSO figure out who made off with Smith's watches, bags and mad money.
Talk about a gamble that didn't pay off.
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Update, 3:33 p.m.: Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson provides some more information on the case.
According to him, the burglary at Smith's home was an isolated incident; no other property crimes were reported in the community around the time his spread was robbed. That's fortunate, since the video system at the entrance to the community had been shut down due to a "pre-planned construction project." (Robinson's not aware of security cameras in Smith's home.) Moreover, "the gates themselves weren't totally functioning, either."
These factors hampered investigators, and despite crime lab evidence collected at the scene and numerous interviews conducted between late April and early June, the ACSO reps assigned to the case came up empty.
As a result, Robinson says, the case has been "deactivated, because we've exhausted the investigative leads." That doesn't mean the ACSO wouldn't get involved again if additional information surfaces, though. In his words, "it's deactivated, but it's not forgotten."