From the vault: 500 wallets discovered during massive cleanup after Pontiac Silverdome hosted Super Bowl in 1982

Cash, credit cards stolen from fans

PONTIAC, Mich. – Security personnel discovered as many as 500 wallets during a massive cleanup after Super Bowl XVI at the Pontiac Silverdome in 1982.

The San Francisco 49ers defeated Cincinnati Bengals 26-21 during the big game on Jan. 24, 1982.

Watch a Local 4 report about the cleanup from 1982 above.

Workers said the hundreds of wallets were found under seats and in bathrooms.

Security workers believed about 50 thieves were involved with a national pick-pocketing ring. They would snatch a wallet, take out the money and credit cards, and dump the wallet. At the time of the report, two people had been arrested in connection with the crimes.

According to security, about $200,000 in cash was suspected to have been stolen, as well as several hundred credit cards.

A woman described how her wallet was taken from her purse while heading into arena. She said she noticed someone who looked suspicious, so she grabbed her husband’s wallet, but the thief worked quickly and got into her purse.

But the thief ended up empty handed from that theft.

“I didn’t have any (money). That little snot didn’t get a dime," the woman said.

Her wallet was one of the hundreds found.

In addition to the wallets, workers had to sift through mounds of trash during the “mammoth cleanup” that was expected to take at least three days.

Trash filled the Pontiac Silverdome after Super Bowl XVI in 1982. (WDIV)