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Theft of holiday sweaters follows world record at KU's Allen Fieldhouse

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At least the Grinch who stole two holiday sweaters from Allen Fieldhouse Saturday didn’t get to count them as part of Kansas University Athletics’ new Guinness World Record.

Someone took two “KU ugly sweaters” from the fieldhouse just after 3 p.m. Saturday, an estimated loss of $154, according to the KU Office of Public Safety. The sweaters were picked up off a table, at a kiosk that had been selling them, as the KU men’s basketball game against the University of Montana was ending, KU police Capt. James Anguiano said.

Earlier in the game, KU Athletics set the world record for the largest gathering of people wearing holiday sweaters. According to a Guinness spokeswoman contacted Tuesday, the official Guinness text now reads: “The largest gathering of people wearing holiday sweaters is 3,473 and was achieved by Kansas Athletics (USA) at the Men’s Basketball game vs. Montana in Lawrence, Kansas, USA on 19 December 2015.”

Fans wearing holiday sweaters meeting the criteria — long sleeves and decorated with at least one holiday-themed item — were given “participation” tickets when they entered the Fieldhouse. According to KU Athletics, the official count was taken during a 5-minute window partway through the first half, during which everyone in holiday sweaters was required to be in their seats with sweaters on and pass their tickets to the aisle to be officially counted.

With 3,473 holiday sweaters in the Fieldhouse, KU easily surpassed the previous world record, set at Loughborough University in Loughborough, United Kingdom, where 1,175 people wore holiday sweaters on Dec. 10, 2014.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the ugly-sweater thief had not been caught and the investigation remained open, Anguiano said.

A sea of ugly Christmas sweaters come together for the Alma Mater during the first half, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

A sea of ugly Christmas sweaters come together for the Alma Mater during the first half, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

— Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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