Los Angeles: On Friday March 8, 2000, 55 Academy Award Oscars were stolen from the Roadway Express trucking facility in Bell, California. At the request of the Bell Police Department, the LAPD took over investigative control of the case. On March 18, 2000, Detectives from LAPD’s Burglary Auto Theft Division arrested two suspects in the case, Roadway Express employees Anthony Keith Hart and Lawrence Edward Ledent. Ledent plead guilty to Grand Theft charges in December 2000 and received a six-month jail sentence. Hart was subsequently released due to lack of sufficient evidence, but the District Attorney’s office filed additional felony charges against him later in the investigation.
On October 13, 2000, LAPD Burglary Auto Theft Detectives arrested John Willie Harris in connection with the theft of the Oscar statuettes. Harris is the half brother of Willie Fullgear who was originally credited with finding the missing statuettes.
On October 17, 2001, Harris pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen property and was sentenced to six months in prison.
On October 23, 2001, Anthony Keith Hart, represented by attorneys Steven Yagman and Richard Miller, pleaded no contest to receiving stolen property. He will be sentenced on December 5, 2001. Willie Fullgear has not been ruled out as a suspect in the case and the investigation is ongoing.
For further information please contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586. This press release was prepared by Sergeant John Pasquariello, LAPD Media Relations Section.