In Grand Rapids, the slippers were a key attraction at the town’s Wizard of Oz Festival. But even though officials offered to keep the valuable footwear in a vault overnight, Shaw declined. The owner of the shoes believed that the building’s own security would be sufficient; sadly, he was mistaken.
On August 28, 2005, staff arrived at the museum to a horrifying sight. At some point in the night, the glass case containing the slippers had been broken into. And, somehow, the exhibit’s alarm had not been triggered to alert the police. Meanwhile, the famous shoes were nowhere to be seen, nor were the perpetrators of the break-in.