John Lennon’s stolen property is recovered 11 years later

Published November 21, 2017

We read the news today, oh boy: German police retrieved nearly 100 of John Lennon’s stolen personal items.

The property—including three diaries, handwritten sheet music, a 1965 Beatles concert recording, and two pairs of Lennon’s signature circular glasses—was taken from Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, in New York in 2006. According to the BBC, many of the items currently displayed at Berlin police headquarters were confiscated over the summer from an auction house in the German capital, prompting further investigation.

Police in Berlin also arrested an unidentified 58-year-old man yesterday on suspicion of fraud and handling stolen items. The second suspect in this ongoing investigation previously worked for Ono as a chauffeur, but has not yet been taken into custody.

Lennon altered the course of rock music history when he founded the Beatles with Paul McCartney—a songwriting partnership that would inspire crazed fandoms for years to come. In that vein, Beatles memorabilia generally fetches tens of thousands of dollars at auction, making Lennon’s estate a ripe target for fraud or thievery. It’s, unfortunately, just a day in the life.

 

IMAGES PICTURED (NOT THOSE STOLEN) CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: ONO WITH KEITH HARING, ANDY WARHOL, AND SEAN LENNON,1980s. PHOTO:NICK ELGAR/CORBIS; ONO AND JOHN LENNON AT THE HIT FACTORY,1980. PHOTO: BOB GRUEN; JOHN LENNON AND YOKO ONO BY ANDY WARHOL, 1971. © ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION FOR THE VISUAL ARTS/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY; ONO IN SELFRIDGES DEPARTMENT STORE, LONDON,1971.PHOTO: GLJSBERT HANEKROOT/REDFERNS; YOKO ONO BY ALBERT WATSON, 1985. COVER ILLUSTRATION BY RICHARD BERNSTEIN; ONO WITH LENNON AND HER DAUGHTER, KYOKO COX, LONDON, 1969. ONO WITH LENNON, 1971. PHOTO: GEORGE STROUD/ STRINGER/GETTY; ONO WITH ALLEN GINSBERG AND WILLIAM BURROUGHS, 1974. PHOTO:CHUCK PULIN; JOHN LENNON AND YOKO ONO BY ANDY WARHOL, 1971. COLLECTION OF THE ANDY WARHOL MUSEUM, PITTSBURGH; ONO AND SEAN LENNON AT LIVERPOOL’S LIVER BUILDING,1984. PHOTO: BARRY GREENWOOD/DAILY MAIL/REX/ALAMY.