In August of 2005, a pair of slippers used in the filming of the Wizard of Oz movie were stolen from the Judy Garland museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The heels were taken from a glass display during the middle of the night, the thief gaining access through a door in the back of the museum. An alarm was sounded, but there was no direct dispatch to authorities. It was not until employees noticed the broken glass case the next day that police were contacted.
Ever since then, the FBI has been working with multiple leads for more than a decade tirelessly trying to track down the ruby slippers. The shoes are speculated to be one of only four pairs still in existence, with one of those pairs being housed in the Smithsonian. After a meticulous authentication process, the slippers, as well as a single sequin found at the scene, were identified as the missing slippers.
As of right now, an investigation into who stole the shoes is currently underway. No arrests have been made, but numerous suspects have been identified in connection with the crime.
The owner of the slippers, Michael Shaw, was elated to hear of the news about his prized possessions. Through tears, Shaw said, “It was really one of the most thrilling moments of my life when they said, 'We've got them.'" Shaw originally purchased the slippers in 1970 for $2,000, and the estimated value of them has since skyrocketed to more than two million dollars. The shoes are now owned by Shaw’s insurance company after an $800,000 payout, but Shaw said he is first in line to repurchase them.