Former NBA player championship rings stolen from Windermere home

Orange County Sheriff's deputies are investigating some burglaries in Windermere including one at the home of a famous basketball player.

NBA Champion Greg Kite said thieves broke the glass on his patio door, then got in, ransacked his bedroom, and took off with very special jewelry. 

"Tremendous amount of memories. The highlight of my professional basketball career. I have two NBA championship rings from the Boston Celtics, 1984 and 86. And my wife Jenny has a wife’s ring and a wife’s pendant. Took those. Very identifiable memorabilia," said Kite.

Kite is talking about the thieves who took off with his two championship rings and other jewelry from his Windermere home over the holidays. "They shattered the sliding doors. Went into our master bedrooms. Ransacked our master bedroom." 

It happened in a gated community called Harbor Isle. Kite said his next-door neighbor was also burglarized the same night, Orange County Sheriff’s deputies think the two burglaries are connected and are investigating.

And a mile away from Kite’s place, the owner of a home on Woodmont Place says, she too was burglarized, and it was all caught on surveillance.

You can see the thieves breaking into the house. Trista Pavelski said it’s scary because she came home with her young daughters during the burglary and discovered what occurred through her surveillance. 

"We were doing cartwheels in the front yard. They were scrambling in the back, till they found an opening in the fence and jumped over," said Pavelski. She thinks the burglars also hurt her 3 dogs. 

Trista said one of the thieves first rang the doorbell, then walked around the house trying to figure out where to break in.

"They looked like somebody who was hired to be here. The way he approached the home was very direct. There was no fear," she said.

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s crime information site, there have been a dozen burglaries since November in the Windermere, Dr. Phillips, and MetroWest area. 

Kite said the thieves took tens of thousands of dollars in jewelry and other items from his home. He said his rings have diamonds, with a basketball hoop in the middle and his name engraved on the side.

"It would be awesome to be able to get it back, but I’m thankful we were safe and nobody was hurt," said Kite.

Many of the homes that were hit have alarms, however, deputies recommend getting the alarms that go off if glass breaks and remembering to turn them on.

Meanwhile Pavelskia said the thieves in her case got away in a black Volkswagen. She said homes on Hempel Cove, Pinnacle and Seigneury were also hit.

Anyone with information should call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.