Fan offers $1 million reward for Judy Garland’s stolen ruby slippers | News Entertainment

Fan offers $1 million reward for Judy Garland’s stolen ruby slippers

14 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

$1 million reward offered for return of stolen Wizard of Oz ruby slippers.

One generous Oz-head has offered a $1 million reward for credible information leading to the pair of Dorothy’s ruby slippers stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.A $US1 million ($AU1.3 million) reward has been offered for the return of a pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz and stolen from a museum in her home town a decade ago. The pair disappeared nearly ten years ago, in August of 2005 — leaving the town to believe that the perpetrators were a group of kids, according to museum spokesperson Rob Feeney. The slippers were lent to the museum each year by their owner, collector Michael Shaw, who protested the museum’s suggestion of putting them into a safe every night.

When the prized slippers were stolen, “we kicked ourselves in the butt for not putting them in the safe,” said Jon Miner, one of the museum’s board members. “Of course, the owner was dumbfounded. Kelsch did tell The Republic that the police have received numerous calls about the location of the slippers since the reward was announced over the weekend. An initial investigation found that museum cameras had been turned off, causing the town’s police department to suspect that the robbery was an inside job.

However, that possibility was quickly ruled out, according to Feeney, as was the possibility that the perpetrator was Shaw, the shoes’ original owner. The slippers, once insured at $1 million, are estimated to have risen in value to $2 million or $3 million, estimates the museum’s executive director, John Kelsch. “If the slippers are sitting in a closet somewhere, somebody knows,” Miner said. “And not just the perpetrator. Last month the museum commissioned divers to search a flooded mine pit to investigate a rumour that the shoes had been sunk there in a plastic container, but the hunt provided no new information. The museum said that it would award the $US1 million to anyone providing the slippers or their exact location, and the identity of the thief or thieves. Kelsch added in a phone interview today that the Arizona donor had heard about the dives and the futile search for the ruby slippers through local media reports.

The slippers must be in a good enough condition for local authorities to authenticate them, and the tipster must provide the name or names of the perperator’s name. Ironically, it’s unlikely the perpetrators could ever be prosecuted for the crime: the statute of limitations for the theft has expired under Minnesota law, Kelsch said.

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