The ruby slippers were almost at the end of a 10-week loan to the Judy Garland Museum when they were stolen sometime in the overnight hours of August 27-28 in 2005.
North Dakota U.S. Attorney Christopher Myers said investigators are still finding the person or people who stole the beloved movie memorabilia.
The slippers are valued at upwards of $3 million, and could fetch as much as $5 million at auction, but selling them would have been hard given the highly publicized theft. After years of searching, the slippers have been recovered following a year-long investigation.
The shoes reportedly were insured for $1 million.
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Authorities shed little light on what happened to them at a televised news conference Tuesday, announcing only that they had recovered the famous pair.
Interestingly, while the Federal Bureau of Investigation has executed search warrants in both Minnesota and Florida and identified suspects (they did not name them), they still haven't figured out everything about the theft and apparent extortion plot.
The stolen slippers' authenticity was verified by comparing them with the pair at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History in Washington. 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 vast cost - hundreds of thousands of dollars - to restore them. As the story goes, Kent Warner found several pairs on a dusty shelf and took one to the famed MGM Studios auction in 1970. Toward the end of the movie, Glinda the Good Witch reveals to Dorothy that her magic slippers can take her back home. "Over the years, our officers investigated numerous tips as they came in, eliminating each one".
In 2015, an anonymous donor offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the recovery of the shoes.
"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. But, as CNN recounts, rumors have circulated among fans and collectors since then about the whereabouts of the highly desirable shoes, valued at between $2 million and $3 million.