According to police, British rock and roll band Led Zeppelin was robbed of more than $200,000 in cash from a hotel safety deposit box.
On July 29, 1973, Led Zeppelin road manager Richard Cole realized that their hotel safety deposit box had been stolen as the band was set to be in Madison Square Garden for their final performance in a three-night series. The missing contents? Over $200,000 in cash. The money came from the group’s recent gigs on their current US tour and was set aside for some upcoming bills.
The following day, Zeppelin’s personal manager Peter Grant hosted a press conference while the band was secluded in the suites of the 17th level. Despite a comprehensive police inquiry, the crime remains unresolved.
Officers told them that the money was in their box when Cole opened it at 1:20 a.m. on Sunday morning. But when he checked the box at 7:30 p.m., it contained only five passports.
Detectives at the Drake Hotel on Park Avenue stated there was no sign the box was pushed open. But the two-key system also made it difficult to pinpoint what could have gone wrong. One key was required by the desk staff to retrieve the box from the safe, while another, which Cole had, was necessary for actually opening the box. The locks were removed by police technicians for analysis.
Hotel detectives declined to comment on the theft, but assistant manager Michael Stiller said the hotel does not keep records of the contents of its security deposit boxes. Similarly, Stiller denied having knowledge of the amount of money in Led Zeppelin’s box.
However, this setback didn’t stop Led Zeppelin from performing. When they were finished, about 85 young admirers waited in the foyer to see the group.
The contents of the security box have yet to be found.