The police department that was skewered by OJ Simpson's defense team during his murder trial has gone to court to solve another crime involving the famous convict ... but this one involves his 1968 Heisman Trophy.
TMZ has learned the LAPD has obtained a search warrant, allowing detectives to secure phone records of a man they believe stole the statue from Heritage Hall at USC back in 1994.
The trophy and OJ's famous #32 jersey went missing after someone dismantled the display case and made off with the goods.
The cold case became hot in November when a man called USC, saying he had purchased the trophy from a friend years ago and wanted to authenticate it. The USC folks determined the guy did indeed have the Heisman, but cops didn't believe his story ... they think he's the crook.
So LAPD detectives went to court last month and got a warrant to track the guy down and nab the items.
He can't be prosecuted ... the statute of limitations has long since run.
As for OJ ... he also had a Heisman -- they come in pairs ... one for the player and one for the school. OJ's was sold for $255,500 to partially satisfy the $33 million judgment for killing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.