Listen Live

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Somewhere over the rainbow, indictments fly. And for a Minnesota man, there may be no place like jail.

>> Read more trending news

Terry Jon Martin, 76, of Grand Rapids, was charged on Tuesday with stealing a pair of the ruby red slippers in 2005 worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 film classic, “The Wizard of Oz,” the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported.

Martin, who lives 12 miles south of the museum named for Garland — born Frances Gumm on June 10, 1922 — was indicted by a federal jury in Minnesota on a charge of theft of major artwork, according to the newspaper.

The one-page indictment was handed down in U.S. District Court in the District of Minnesota, WCCO-TV reported.

The size 5 1/2 shoes remained missing until they were recovered in a sting operation in 2018, according to The New York Times.

Reached by telephone on Wednesday at his home by the Star Tribune, Martin refused to comment.

“I gotta go on trial,” he told the newspaper. “I don’t want to talk to you.”

When the shoes were stolen, they belonged to Michael Shaw, a memorabilia collector in North Hollywood, California, and were on loan to the museum, the Times reported. The museum, which opened in 1975, included the house where Garland lived until she was 4 1/2 years old. The slippers, one of several pairs used by Garland in the movie, were insured for $1 million when they were stolen, The Associated Press reported. There are four pairs of shoes that have been authenticated.

The other three pairs are housed at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Smithsonian, and a private collector, according to the AP.

Janie Heitz, the museum’s executive director, told the Star Tribune that she learned about the indictment “literally one minute ago” from reporters when contacted by the newspaper.

Heitz said Martin’s name “doesn’t ring a bell with any of us (at the museum).”

The slippers Martin is accused of stealing were found during a sting operation in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune reported.

Heitz told the newspaper that federal officials still had the slippers. Currently, a replica pair is on display at the museum.

“The Wizard of Oz” was nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture, WCCO reported. The film won Oscars for original score and original song for “Over the Rainbow.” Garland died in 1969.

It is unclear when Martin will be off to see a courtroom to answer the charges.