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File | Associated Press

Thieves take $340,000 haul while Chris Bosh parties at birthday bash

MIAMI – While Miami Heat star Chris Bosh was out celebrating his birthday at a Morocco-themed party complete with live camels, police said Thursday that thieves made off with about $340,000 in jewelry and cash from the player’s nearby home.

Miami Beach police spokesman Bobby Hernandez said the department received a call about 12:30 a.m. after Bosh and his wife, Adrienne, returned from the well-publicized party at a bayside Miami nightspot. Hernandez said the couple noticed a jewelry drawer in their walk-in was open and numerous watches, rings, purses and cash were missing.

Bosh said he also noticed other things were not where they typically are, including some items on the closet floor.

“It’s not a good feeling but we have it set up a certain way so we can get down to the bottom of it,” Bosh said Thursday after the Heat practiced in Miami. “We’ll get there.”

There was no sign of forced entry at the waterfront, 12,368-square-foot home, which Bosh purchased in 2010 for $12.3 million. Hernandez also said easily traceable items such as Bosh’s Heat championship ring from last year’s NBA title were left undisturbed.

“We think it was probably an inside job,” Hernandez said. “It’s very difficult to prevent crimes such as this from happening.”

Police were interviewing Bosh’s housekeepers, babysitters and anyone else, such as a contractor or repair person, who may have recently had access to the home. They were also fanning out to check local pawn shops for the stolen items.

“That’s always a concern,” Bosh said when asked about police speculation that it was an inside job. “It’s just an unfortunate circumstance. There’s not much I can say. It’s all about action right now. We’ll continue to act and take care of it.”

A Miami Beach police report said there were two babysitters and a teenager at the home while the Boshes – who have two small children – went to the party and that no one saw or heard anything. The report notes that the home is equipped with video surveillance and an alarm, but the alarm was switched off because people were at the house.

Bosh estimated the 12 stolen watches are worth about $300,000, according to the report. In addition to the rings and handbags, about $20,000 in cash was also taken.

Bosh, celebrating his 29th birthday, arrived at the party Wednesday night via helicopter and a yacht. Numerous local and social media sites reported that most fellow Heat players were there, including stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, many of them dressed in Saharan garb.

Guests were greeted by a pair of camels – Henri and Jacob – at the door and the birthday cake was a jewel-festooned chocolate elephant ridden by a miniature Bosh figure. Entertainment included belly dancers and fire eaters.

The 6-foot-11 Bosh, now in his 10th NBA season, is averaging 16.7 points and 6.7 rebounds for the first-place Heat. His actual birthday was March 24, but the celebration was delayed until Wednesday.

Bosh is planning to play Friday when the Heat visit the Charlotte Bobcats. He went through the entirety of Heat practice Thursday, at times laughing with teammates as usual.

“I’ve always easily just been able to come here and play basketball, no matter what’s happened,” Bosh said. “I guess the worst of it is just lack of sleep. That’s really it. Everything else is just a process and that took a while last night. We’ll eventually get to where we need to go.”

AP sports writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this story.

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