Wizard of Oz’s lost ruby slippers recovered by FBI sting operation

Stolen Wizard of Oz ruby slippers recovered after 13-year search

Authorities have recovered a pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, Yahoo Entertainment can confirm, 13 years after they were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota.

After the shoes were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids in 2005, they disappeared completely until an individual offered the museum more information about the heist past year. The museum had an alarm system, but the private security firm that operated it didn't receive a signal that any doors or windows were opened.

Grand Rapids Police Chief Scott Johnson adds, "When the slippers were snatched in that early morning burglary, the thief not only took the slippers but also a piece of history that will be forever connected to Grand Rapids and one of our city's most famous children".

They unveiled the shoes - which appeared to be in good condition - in a glass case.

The release reported an individual approached the company that insured the slippers last summer, saying he had information about the slippers and how they could be returned.

"The police department really had no evidence and no clues to work with", Grand Rapids Police Sergeant Robert Stein said in a statement.

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The search for the famous ruby heels, which Garland wore while playing Dorothy, has taken investigators to a collector's mansion in San Diego, to a roadside diner in Missouri, and to the bottom of the Tioga Mine Pit, just outside Grand Rapids.

Johnson says the break in the case came in the summer of 2017 when police received information that led to suspects outside the state and the Federal Bureau of Investigation was called to help.

Agents from the Minneapolis Division worked closely with the FBI's Art Crime Team throughout the investigation, which is ongoing. He said his office will file charges "as appropriate and if appropriate at a later time".

One of several pairs of slippers worn by Judy Garland in the movie are seen here in 1996. One pair was found in the basement of MGM's wardrobe department in 1970. The pair was removed from display in April 2017 to be preserved.

Their authenticity was verified by experts at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, who confirmed their status as Garland's original prop used during the filming of the hit 1939 film.

Now that needle has been found, with the F.B.I. today announcing that the stolen slippers had been located - although there are no details of how they were found, or who might be responsible for the theft. Museum officials wanted to keep the slippers in a safe every night, but Shaw didn't want other people touching the delicate artifact.

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