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Day after tough loss, Bucs player endures big loss

It's been a bad week for Tampa Bay Buccaneer Kenyatta Walker.

On Sunday he and his team lost 17-14 to the New Orleans Saints in the waning seconds of the game.

A day later, Walker went to Malio's Steak House, a swank South Tampa restaurant, around lunchtime. According to a police report, Walker had a surprise waiting for him when he returned to his 2002 Ford Excursion sport utility vehicle.

Someone had "popped" the lock on the driver's side and broken in, said Tampa Police Capt. Bob Guidara. But the thief got away with more than the usual car stereo or compact discs.

This thief made away with a diamond-faced Rolex watch worth $20,000.

And a platinum necklace, with a diamond-encrusted football medallion and a black diamond-studded charm with the initials "KW." The necklace and charms, Walker told authorities, were worth $50,000, more than a rookie officer's annual salary.

The thief also took a TV monitor and Sony PlayStation worth a total of $2,000.

It was unclear why Walker left the jewelry inside his vehicle. The SUV was locked but didn't have an alarm, according to the police report.

Walker and the Buccaneers declined to comment.

Police said Walker is the latest victim of several hundred car burglaries in the city this year. The burglaries are common in parking lots of restaurants, stores and hotels.

The midday theft of Walker's dazzling jewelry should be a lesson for regular folks as well, said Guidara.

"Secure your valuables or take them with you," he said.

_ Tamara Lush can be reached at (813) 226-3373 or at lushsptimes.com.

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