But police sources said Lara was distraught over the loss of several pieces of jewelry which he received during his record-breaking cricketing career.

Among the items stolen, was the honorary Order of Australia which was bestowed on Lara by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during the hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Port-of-Spain on November 29, last year.

Lara could not be reached for comment yesterday. A call to his phone was answered by an unidentified man who said, “Mr Lara cannot come to the phone right now.”

But Lara’s mentor Joey Carew, in a phone interview yesterday, said the incident was yet another dent in the reputation of Trinidad and Tobago and an insult to the national icon.

“It is more than shameful,” Carew said.

He however noted it was not surprising because of the state that crime had reached in the nation.

“Everyone you talk to is saying that criminals have had an effect on their lives,” Carew said.

Police believe the heist was an inside job as there was no sign of forced entry and was pulled off while Lara left his mansion at Chancellor Hill, St Clair, for three hours on Tuesday.

A rattled Lara walked into the St Clair Police Station yesterday and lodged a report.

He told investigators he left his home at 4 pm on Tuesday, secured all doors and windows and returned at about 7 pm.

He went to bed sometime later and when he got up early yesterday morning, he discovered his metal safe containing the jewelry, cash and other valuables, missing from his master bedroom.

Acting Police Commissioner James Philbert, who was attending a meeting in Tobago, was briefed on the incident by Snr Supt Glen Hackett.

The top cop then appointed Hackett and a team of investigators from the Port-of-Spain CID to find the stolen items.

Just after midday yesterday, the officers from the Port-of-Spain CID went to Lara’s home in a marked police vehicle and were given a first hand look at the area where the safe used to be.

Fingerprint experts dusted the crime scene but did not retrieve any workable prints.

They spent close to one hour with the retired cricket superstar and returned to their office where they were briefed by Hackett who gave the instructions for all employees of Lara to be interviewed and their homes searched.

Up to late yesterday, searches at the homes of those employees were in progress.

By 6 pm yesterday, none of the stolen items had been recovered, but police advised members of the public that it is against the law to purchase stolen jewelry.

Interviewed yesterday Hackett told Newsday, “We will leave no stone unturned in our quest to find the stolen items.”

The double world record holder is expected to do an audit today and make a list of all the items which were stolen from the safe.

He told investigators he could not give an exact figure of the number of tickets he had in his safe.

Lara’s company LAY Management — a company jointly owned by Lara and local football icon Dwight Yorke — has been retained by TSTT to oversee aspects of the Beyonce concert.

Interviewed yesterday, Graeme Suite, TSTT’s manager of media relations and corporate communications said while he could not confirm if any of the Beyonce concert tickets had been stolen, if they were these tickets would be identified at the gates.

“What I am in a position to say is that each ticket has a code which is identifiable by a scanner,” he said. “Anyone buying tickets from an unauthorised source will not be admitted to the concert. Tickets purchased illegally will be void at the concert.”

Each VVIP ticket for the February 18 concert is being sold for $1,600.

Cpl George of the St Clair Police Station has been assigned to lead the investigations.



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