Published: Wed, September 05, 2018
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Dorothy’s ruby slippers have been found 13 years after they were stolen

Dorothy’s ruby slippers have been found 13 years after they were stolen

Thirteen years ago, a pair of ruby slippers from the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz were stolen from a Minnesota museum.

But on Tuesday, the ruby-red slippers worn by Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" came home again. That pair of shoes was insured for $1 million.

"Sometime between 5:45 PM on August 27th and 9:45 Am on August 28th, a burglar broke a window in the museum's back door and entered", the Grand Rapids Police Department said in a news release. An alarm had been triggered, but a signal was reportedly not sent to police.

"There are certainly people out there who have additional knowledge regarding both the theft and the individuals responsible for concealing the slippers all these years", he added. Investigators estimated that the heist took only seconds.

When it became apparent to the Grand Rapids police "that those involved were in reality attempting to extort the owners of the slippers", authorities requested the FBI's assistance, explained special agent Christopher Dudley, who led the investigation from the FBI's Minneapolis division, during a Tuesday press conference. After years of searching, the slippers have been recovered following a year-long investigation.

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"We kicked ourselves in the butt for not putting them in the safe", Jon Miner, one of the museum's board members, told The Washington Post's Jessica Contrera in 2015.

The FBI said no one has yet been arrested or charged in the case, but they have "multiple suspects" and continue to investigate.

Purchased in 1970 for $2,000 by collector Michael Shaw, the slippers were on loan to the Judy Garland Museum for its annual Wizard of Oz festival at the time of their theft in 2005. There are four pairs in existence. One pair was bought by Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg, who displayed them at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, while another pair reside at the Smithsonian. Shaw rejected the museum's offer to store them in a vault each night because he didn't want people handling the delicate shoes by moving them daily, he said in the documentary. A fan offered a $1 million reward for a short period before the 10-year anniversary of the robbery, but no-one came forward. The museum notes that five pairs of ruby slippers made for the movie are known to have survived. After all, 'There's no place like home, ' " Johnson said.

Journalist based in Charlotte, North Carolina, whose work has appeared in The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing, and more.

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