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Police arrest brother of man rewarded for finding Oscars

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October 15, 2000 

  

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The brother of the man rewarded for finding 52 of 55 Oscar statuettes stolen just before this year's Academy Awards has been arrested in connection with the theft.


John Harris, 54, of Los Angeles, was jailed Friday on felony charges of receiving stolen property and being an accessory to grand theft, said Officer Jason Lee, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman.


Harris lives near his brother, Willie Fulgear, 61, a salvage man who received a dlrs 50,000 reward and two tickets to the Academy Awards ceremony after finding the Oscars in a trash bin one week before the March 26 awards show.


Detectives from LAPD's burglary auto theft division are investigating the case. Two others have also been charged.


"Not only did the investigation reveal that the stolen Oscars were in Harris' residence at some point after they were stolen, but the investigation also revealed that Harris is the brother of Fulgear," police Lt. Horace Frank said.


Asked if Fulgear was a suspect in the theft, Lee would only say, "He has not been arrested. This investigation is ongoing and has not concluded."


Fulgear, whose phone number is unlisted, could not be reached for comment.


The 55 gold-plated Oscar statuettes were manufactured in Chicago and shipped by Ohio-based Roadway Express to a warehouse in Bell, where they disappeared from a loading dock. Three of them have never been found.


Lawrence Ledent, 38, a former Roadway truck driver, pleaded no contest in June to grand theft. He is to begin serving a six-month jail term in December.


Anthony Hart, a Roadway dock worker at the warehouse, was charged with one count of grand theft. Hart, 38, pleaded innocent and is awaiting trial.



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