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Full Coverage: Apollo-Soyuz artifacts stolen

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Space razor recovered, dealer arrested

January 26, 2000 — An astronaut's Soviet electric razor that was among the items stolen from a museum earlier this month has been recovered, Reuters reports Tuesday.

David Albert Rhoades, 44, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was arrested after a tip led police to his residence where they found the stolen razor.

"We don't know how he came into possession of it. The fact that he had it was enough to put him in jail," police spokesman Captain Charles Allen told the wire service.

Rhoades, a junk dealer whose hobbies do not appear to include collecting space memorabilia, was charged with concealing stolen property.

The majority of the Kirkpatrick museum's stolen artifacts, including several flown in space pieces, remain missing.

Space memorabilia stolen from museum

January 16, 2000 — Artifacts flown on the first joint U.S. and Soviet space mission were stolen from an Oklahoma City museum, an online newspaper reported on Thursday.

An article appearing on the APB News website reported that a thief or thieves broke into a case at the Kirkpatrick Science and Air Space Museum in Oklahoma taking 19 pieces donated by astronaut Thomas Stafford. The flown in space memorabilia was part of the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP), which Stafford commanded for the United States.

ASTP was the first manned spaceflight conducted jointly by two nations. The mission began on July 15, 1975 with the Soviet Union's Soyuz launch followed by the United States' Apollo liftoff on the same day. The two craft met in orbit and docked on July 17, and joint operations were conducted for two full days.

Among the flown items listed by the museum as stolen were a pen set, medallions and a hatch plug encased in acrylic. Other artifacts, including Stafford's electric razor, were also taken.

The museum estimated the value of the stolen items at $93,000 for insurance purposes. As most of the pieces were mass-produced, police believe the thief will have a difficult time selling the memorabilia without the artifacts' provenance documentation, which the museum retained.

Museum officials are offering $1,000 for information that leads to the artifacts' recovery. The FBI has also added the stolen inventory to its registry of stolen antiquities to alert national auction houses.

The museum has been unable to contact Stafford, who is said to be on travel.

If you have information which could lead to the recovery of the stolen artifacts, please contact CrimeStoppers at (405) 235-7300.

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