26 March 2014

The Ruby Slipper Gang

From the DNAInfo website (via Blair Frodelius’s Daily Ozmapolitan) comes the story behind the recent theft of replica ruby slippers from a hotel on Staten Island.
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.

Walker-Merkle, a former lobbyist for American Public Power Association and congressional aide, was caught on surveillance video wearing the slippers in the hotel and later left with them on, hotel owner Richard Nicotra previously told DNAinfo New York.

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.
The New York Daily News added that the bow was broken off one of the shoes when it was returned. Again, these were replicas the hotel used to promote its services, with no direct connection to the MGM movie.

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