Stolen 'Wizard of Oz' ruby slippers found

Everett Collection

Everett Collection

The FBI has recovered a pair of ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" after the shoes were stolen in a 2005 burglary, the agency announced Tuesday.

The shoes were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota (the birthplace of Garland) in 2005, when someone broke into the institution via a window, smashed the display case holding the slippers, and absconded with them. The FBI then took over and the the shoes were recovered in Minneapolis, Grand Rapids Herald Review reports.

A close up image shows details of ruby slippers featured in the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota in 2005, after it was recovered in a sting operation conducted in Minneapolis earlier this summer in this FBI Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., image released on September 4, 2018. The slippers are estimated to be worth millions of dollars at auction. One is at the Smithsonian - Johnson said that has been a constant source of misguided tips over the years - while one was donated to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the other is privately owned and not on display.

A pair of ruby slippers once worn by actress Judy Garland in the "The Wizard of Oz" are displayed at a news conference Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, at the Federal Bureau of Investigation office in Brooklyn Center, Minn. The question is: Who do they return them to? 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. An alarm had been tripped but no signal was sent to police dispatch, museum co-founder John Kelsch said in the documentary. Investigators say the smash-and-grab took 45 seconds or less. The museum notes that five pairs of ruby slippers made for the movie are known to have survived.

But the theft of the ruby slippers has remained an open police case for 13 years.

The shoes are famously connected to the line, "There's no place like home". It's safe to say that whoever they end up with will surely click their heels in delight at the opportunity to own an iconic piece of Hollywood history. The police department received tips from around the world, a dive team searched Tioga Mine Pit in 2015 and an anonymous fan offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the slippers' recovery.

Myers said he would handle any prosecution.

"But most importantly, I was assured that the museum had security", Shaw said in the film.

The Wizard of Oz was presented in both black and white, and colour - a first for the industry.

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