MERIDIAN TWP. (WWJ) – A former Michigan State football coach believes he was specifically targeted by thieves who broke into his home and took nothing but his prized championship rings.

George Perles, who coached at MSU from 1983 to 1994, said he went to watch his beloved Spartans take on the Oregon Ducks last weekend in East Lansing and returned to his Meridian Township home to find he had been robbed.

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“The place had been broken into and what they took was very unusual,” Perles told WWJ’s Scott Ryan. “They took my 14 different rings from different bowl games, and that’s all they touched. They didn’t take anything else expect my rings and my wife’s bracelet that had all the different bowl games on it.”

Perles said the crooks went clear past other valuables in the home, electronics and money, and went straight for his bedroom.

“They didn’t touch one other thing. Nothing was disturbed in the house except my closet where they tore everything up looking for the rings,” he said.

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But while the thieves hit the jackpot with Perles’ 14 bowl rings, they missed the motherlode: the baubles he earned from his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I guess they were disappointed because my Super Bowl rings are in a safe at the bank in a safety deposit box,” he said. “So, that probably was a disappointment for them. I’m sure they were looking for the four Super Bowl rings along with the other ones.”

The 81-year-old doesn’t know what the burglars wanted with his rings, he just wants them back.

“They all had my name on it so I don’t know how they think they’re going to get rid of them but the police are on top of it,” he said. “I’m just trying to get the rings back because there’s sentimental value there.”

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Anyone who might have information on the break-in or the suspect is urged to contact police at 517-332-6526.