“Outside thefts”, which should pay for its protection and why not play with Big Dunc – The Athletic

At 8:25 p.m. on Tuesday, September 14, Chelsea are halfway through the first half of their Champions League opener this season and the defending champions are struggling to break through Zenit Saint Petersburg’s steadfast defense.

England international Reece James plays right-back but, like some of his teammates, struggles to work until summer signing Romelu Lukaku entered the far post with a 69th-minute header.

Twenty miles away, in Cobham, the upscale Surrey village where Chelsea train, another job is underway at James, but this one looks a lot easier.

Four men, dressed in overalls and balaclavas, push their way through its swinging metal doors, stroll around the back of the property, shine torches through the patio doors to verify that the owner is really somewhere else , take a hammer towards a side door and then come to the front with a large safe. The only time they seem panicked from a distance is when they realize that they can’t open the doors wide enough for their getaway car and they’ll have to push the large metal box onto the sidewalk.

Inside are the Champions League and European Super Cup winners’ medals that James won earlier this year, as well as the runners-up medal he won playing for England at Euro 2020 this summer. Gone in 360 seconds.

Two days later, he would post the CCTV footage of this heist on Instagram.

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