ATLANTA (CBSNewYork/AP) — An American Olympian is searching for his 1992 gold medal after he says it was stolen by thieves who broke into his car in Atlanta.

Joe Jacobi won a gold medal for the U.S. in the two-man canoe slalom event in Barcelona, Spain.

He told news outlets the medal was inside a backpack that was taken from his car while he and his family were inside a restaurant Monday.

Surveillance footage of the parking lot shows two men involved in the break-in. According to Atlanta CBS affiliate WGCL-TV, the suspects can be seen breaking the rear and passenger side windows.

Jacobi said he hopes the thieves return the medal.

“That piece of metal doesn’t define me,” Jacobi told WGCL. “It really is an opportunity for those people to have their own Olympic gold medal moment by returning the medal, not to me but to us… no questions asked, it can be done.”

Jacobi’s wife, Lisa Riblet Jacobi, said police found the thieves’ getaway car and recovered some of the stolen items Tuesday but are still looking for the medal.

She told WGCL her husband takes the medal with him to share it with schoolchildren at public speaking events.

“He believes that the medal belongs to America and not to him personally and he wants to make sure that as many people as would like have the ability to hold or wear the medal,” she said.

She also posted photos of the suspects’ car on her Facebook page.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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