Man Facing Charges In 13-Year Theft Of Judy Garland’s Ruby Slippers

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A federal grand jury indicted a Minnesota man Wednesday over the 2005 theft of a pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 film, “The Wizard Of Oz”, North Dakota federal prosecutors have stated.

Terry Martin, 76,  has been charged with one count of theft of major artwork after prosecutors alleged he broke into the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, in 2005 and stole the slippers, which were on display, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of North Dakota.

The slippers were allegedly in Martin’s possession for 13 years before the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Grand Rapids Police Department recovered them in a 2018 sting operation, although no arrests were made at the time, the release stated.

The slippers are one of four authentic pairs remaining from the production of the 1939 film, according to the Associated Press. At the time of the theft, the slippers belonged to Hollywood memorabilia collector Michael Shaw, who had loaned the well-known pieces of cinematic history to the museum, the AP reported.

Though the current value of the slippers is an estimated $3.5 million, the slippers were insured for $1 million in 2005. An insurance payment was made to Shaw over their loss seven years after they were stolen, Janie Heitz, executive director of the museum, told The AP. (RELATED: John Rambo’s Knife And James Bond’s Gun Sell At Auction For Huge Money)

Martin, who lives 12 miles from the Judy Garland Museum, has an extensive criminal history with convictions in the 1960s and 1970s for aggravated assault, robbery and burglary, the Minnesota Star Tribune reported. When contacted by the outlet for an interview, Martin reportedly stated, “I gotta go on trial. I don’t want to talk to you.”