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2 people claim 1972 Miami Dolphins autographed helmet

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Posted at 9:58 AM, Jun 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-22 06:58:57-04

Boynton Beach police are trying to reunite a valuable item of sports memorabilia with its owner, but two people have come forward claiming to be the owner.

It’s a Miami Dolphins helmet signed by seven members of the 1972 team that went undefeated.

Detectives say that they found it while serving a search warrant at the home of a burglary suspect in 2013.

The helmet features the signatures of Don Shula, Larry Csonka, Jim Langer, Larry Little, Mercury Morris, Jim Kiick and Garo Yepremian.

Detectives say they're looking into both people's stories and checking any evidence they have that the helmet belonged to them.

One of the people who stepped forward contacted WPTV. Tracy Sparrell says it was her father-in-laws before he died. She says several of her family members chipped in and bought it for him for a present, and it has sentimental value. She says a family friend saw that the helmet had been found on the news. When Sparrell looked at Boynton Beach Police Department's Facebook page, she says she was overwhelmed with excitement.

"I looked and I saw it and I compared the pictures and went 'oh my goodness, it's the same helmet, are you kidding,'" Sparrell said. "It was really important to him, so it was really exciting at that point."

Boynton Beach Police have not released any information on the other person who has come forward claiming to have owned the helmet. Sparrell says it's possible that they owned it, however. She says her family bought it off of Ebay and now worries it could have been stolen before it was put online.

Police are examining Sparrell's and the other person's claims. Investigators have requested any police reports, certificates of authenticity or photos both may have had of the helmet.