Stolen 'Wizard of Oz' Ruby Slippers Returned 13 Years Later

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

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 a year ago.

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.

Since the slippers were recovered in July, they have been transported to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. There, conservators conducted an in-depth examination and analysis, identifying wear and details unique to their 1939 film appearance.

"We're not done. We have a lot of work to do", Christopher Myers, the USA attorney for North Dakota, said.

"I$3 nvestigators are seeking the public's help to identify all parties associated with the initial theft and the more recent scheme to defraud and extort the Markel Corporation, the owner of the slippers", authorities said.

The custom-made shoes, made of materials including wood pulp, silk thread, gelatin, plastic and glass beads, were insured for $1 million and may be worth even more now.

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy famously clicked the heels of her ruby slippers three times and repeated, "There's no place like home".

The FBI said no one has yet been arrested or charged in the case, but they have "multiple suspects" and continue to investigate. One is housed in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, where they were removed from display in 2016 and a crowdfunding campaign was launched to cover the enormous cost - hundreds of thousands of dollars - to restore them.

Federal Bureau of Investigation detectives announced on Tuesday they had found the shoes and details of their discovery are due to be revealed. As the story goes, Kent Warner found several pairs on a dusty shelf and took one to the famed MGM Studios auction in 1970. The burglar then smashed a Plexiglass case where the slippers were and got away with them. A fan offered a $1 million reward for a short period before the 10-year anniversary of the robbery, but no-one came forward.

"Our police department followed up on each and every lead that we received over the years", Johnson said, adding that it didn't help that countless replicas were in circulation.

The FBI has recovered about 14,850 stolen artifacts valued at more than $165 million since 2004.

Tips led divers to a lake near Grand Rapids in June of 2015, to scour the bottom in search of the ruby slippers.

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