Three Arrested for Stealing Ruby Red Slippers from The Wizard of Oz

A group of thieves thought they'd be able to click their heels three times and make off with one of the most famous pairs of shoes in the world.

Stop groaning, that pun is NOT the worst joke ever in the history of time. This one might be though—before they could follow the Yellow Brick Road to Emerald City or to the nearest fence to offload the shoes, police arrested them. Yes, like a band of flying monkeys, police swooped in and nabbed the three people who nabbed Dorothy's famous ruby red slippers, which were on display at a Staten Island hotel.

Via DNA Info:

The three, including a former Washington DC lobbyist, took the $2,500 replica shoes from the lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn on South Avenue earlier this month, police said. Julie Walker-Merkle, 39, and Joseph Cipoletti, 58, turned themselves in March 21, police said. Ronald Geraghty, 57, was arrested March 24. Walker-Merkle and Cipoletti lifted the display case the slippers were in while Geraghty kept lookout on March 2, court documents said.

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[Hotel owner Richard] Nicotra reported the theft on March 6 and, a day later, Walker-Merkle's father dropped them off inside a bag at the hotel's front desk of the hotel, the source said.

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Walker-Merkle and Cipoletti were charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal mischief at their arraignment last week. Geraghty was charged with grand larceny at his arraignment on Monday.

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All three were released without bail and are due back in court on May 16, prosecutors said.

Walker-Merkle is a former congressional aide and lobbyist who used to work for American Power Association. She even tried on the shoes because of course she did because who wouldn't try on Dorothy's ruby red slippers? Please tell me she tried them on and belted out "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" while downing a bottle of Barefoot chardonnay.

According to DNAinfo, the shoes were on display after coming to Staten Island all the way from Paris. The display had a sign which said: "We know there's no place like home, but at the Hilton Garden Inn we'll do our best."

Image via AP Images.