FBI charges pensioner with stealing Dorothy’s Wizard of Oz shoes in heist | US | News

A pensioner has been charged with stealing the Ruby Slippers worn by Dorothy in 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

Terry Martin, a 76-year-old man from the US state of Minnesota, has been indicted by a grand jury on a charge of theft of a major artwork.

The shoes, worn by Judy Garland, were originally taken from a museum in 2005 and found 13 years later as part of an FBI operation.

They are among the most valued items of Hollywood memorabilia and have been valued at $3.5m (£2.8m).

At the time of the discovery in 2018, no arrests were made, but now prosecutors have made a decision to charge Mr Martin.

According to the authorities, the shoes are one of just four pairs from the set that remain in existence.

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Garland won the 1939 Academy Juvenile Award for her role in The Wizard of Oz, and the shoes she wore as part of the story were vital to the plot.

In the picture, which was nominated for six Oscars at the time of its release, Dorothy clicks together the magical heels to return home.

“There’s no place like home,” the youngster says as she is then transported back to Kansas from the land of Oz.

The pair were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

At the time, authorities said a thief had smashed through a window in the museum’s back door in order to gain access to the premises.

Police added that no fingerprints of the offender had been left, while no alarm sounded.

The shoes turned up during a sting operation carried out by the FBI’s art crime team.

Since their reappearance, North Dakota’s federal prosecutors and the FBI’s Minneapolis Division have been handling the case.

Janie Heitz, a museum executive director, claimed she did not think Mr Martin had been an employee of the premises – and reports say he lived around 12 miles from the building.

The stolen shoes remain in the custody of the FBI.

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