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Tuesday, 17 October, 2000, 09:52 GMT
Missing Oscars' new plot twist
Robert Rehme
Academy president Robert Rehme inspects the Oscars
The brother of a man hailed a hero earlier this year when he found Oscar statuettes missing on the eve of the ceremony has been charged in connection with their theft.

John Harris, the brother of Willie Fulgear, has been charged with receiving stolen property.


I don't know how the trophies got there

Willie Fulgear
Fulgear became a national hero when he found 52 of the stolen 55 Oscars in a rubbish bin, shortly after they disappeared from a railway loading dock.

Fulgear is not a suspect in the theft, police have said, but they have not ruled anything out.

Two men have already been arrested for the thefts of the Oscars in March this year and one of them has been sentenced to six months in jail.

Lie-detector test

Truck driver Lawrence E Ledent pleaded no contest to a charge of grand theft.

The Los Angeles district attorney's office said Harris had stored some of the Oscars at his home and knew about the theft.

If convicted he could face up to six years in prison.

Fulgear was given tickets to the Academy Awards ceremony and a $50,000 reward for finding the Oscars.

He has denied any involvement in the theft and claimed he had to pass a lie-detector test before being given the reward.

He told reporters outside his apartment: "You guys are calling and joking like I'm some sort of dummy. But I'm not a dummy.

"I had nothing to do with it. I don't know how the trophies got there."

Police are also investigating Fulgear's report that someone broke into his home and stole a safe containing most of his reward money.

Three of the stolen statuettes have never been found.

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See also:

07 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Man jailed over Oscars theft
21 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Two held over Oscar thefts
20 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Oscars found in rubbish bin
17 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Oscar statuettes go missing
04 Jun 00 | Americas
Oscars' reward stolen
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