SI Guard Arrested and Sentenced for Theft

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Summary

A security guard with the Smithsonian Institution for seven years, Vincent Butler Whitley, is arrested and charged with stealing two swords, two gold medals and a snuffbox from National Museum of American History exhibits. Two other men were also arrested and charged with receiving the stolen goods. The artifacts were recovered by the FBI after a four-month long investigation and returned to the Smithsonian on August 19, 1981. On July 29, 1981 Whitley was sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to one charge of theft of government property. The item for which he is charged was a 19th-century gold and diamond encrusted sword which had been presented to Cmdr. James Biddle.

Subject

  • Whitley, Vincent Butler
  • Office of Protective Services

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 371, Box 3, "The Torch," June 1981, p. 3.
  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 371, Box 3, "The Torch," September 1981, p. 2.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu

Date

May 7, 1981

Topic

  • Personnel management
  • Crime
  • Employees
  • Theft
  • Employee theft

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