Kansas City, Kan. Thieves made off with a trailer full of a new model of Air Jordan shoes that were scheduled to be released later this month in connection with the NCAA men's Final Four basketball tournament, police said.
The trailer turned up Monday night in an industrial section of Kansas City, Kan., with about 3,900 of its 5,500 pairs of shoes missing, said police Capt. Michael Kobe.
Kobe said the load of had a retail value of nearly $1 million. The wholesale value was $475,000.
The shoes are all white, with a royal blue sole and no laces. They are to be on store shelves later this month at a retail price of $180 a pair.
Steve Forsberg, a spokesman for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, said a train carrying the trailer from California to Kansas City, Kan., arrived at the railroad's Argentine yard on Feb. 17.
From there, the container was picked up by Shaw Container Services, of Kansas City, Mo., Forsberg said. The company was holding the shoes before shipping them to a Foot Locker distribution center in Junction City.
"About all we know is that they were stolen," said David Tattershall, president of Shaw Container. "We are not sure exactly when that happened. We are still reviewing our records."
Thieves might have stolen the shoes as early as Feb. 26, Tattershall said. He said the trailer was discovered missing on March 7, after Kansas City, Kan., police stopped a car and discovered three cases of shoes -- about 36 pairs.
Forsberg said the railroad's intermodal hub center has strict, controlled access that requires proper paperwork.
"There was no theft from our facility," Forsberg said. "What happened after it left here, we don't know."
According to police-radio transmissions Monday evening, police had questioned as many as 10 people who were wearing the distinctive shoes on Kansas City, Kan., streets. Kobe said police had received reports of people wearing the shoes at area schools Tuesday. Kobe said no one had been arrested Tuesday.