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News Reports on 1973 theft from Drake Hotel NYC


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$200,000 Taken From Rock Group's Box


JULY 31, I973

NEW YORK (UPI) - More than 200,000 in cash was stolen from the hotel safety deposit box of the :ed Zeppelin, a British rock group, police said Sunday. Officers said Richard Cole, the group's tour manager, told them the money was in the box when he opened it about 1:20 a.m. Sunday morning but all there was left when he checked it at 7:30 p.m. were five passports. Between $203,800 and

$220,000 was missing, he said.

Detectives who went to the Drake Hotel on Park Avenue said there was no indication the

box had been forced open. They said one key, kept by the desk clerk, was needed to remove the

box from the safe and another, which Cole had, was needed to open it.

The locks were removed for analysis by police technicians. The group's managers told

detectives they kept the cash on hand because they have "a lot of expenses to pay."

Hotel detectives declined to comment on the theft, but Michael Stiller, the asssistant

manager, said the hotel does not keep records of the contents of its safety deposit boxes.

When he was asked if the Drake knew how much money had been deposited, Stiller said,

"No, we do not."

Police said Cole told them the money came from the group's concerts in its current tour of

the United States. Guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist John Paul Jones, drummer John Bonham

and singer Robert Plant gave the last performance in their three day engagement Sunday night after learning of the theft.

About 85 young fans, eager to catch a glimpse of the group when they returned to the hotel,

were gathered in the lobby after the concert. One of the group's managers struck a

photographer and knocked a camera out of his hand. The Drake management said

the group would be checking out today.

$200G's in Concert Receipts Stolen From Led Zeppelin

Pacific Stars & Stripes APO San Francisco 96503

Aug. 1, 1973

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The manager of the British rock group Led Zeppelin has told police

that more than $200,000 in concert receipts was stolen from a safe-deposit box at the

luxurious Drake Hotel on Park Avenue.

Word of the apparent theft came Sunday night as the four member group was completing

a three-night concert series at Madison Square Garden, part of an East Coast tour that began

this spring in Florida. Police said only manager Richard Cole and the hotel desk

clerk were supposed to have access to the safe-deposit box. There was no indication the box

had been forced open, detectives said.

Police said $203,800 in cash was in the box with the group's British passports when Cole

checked at 1:20 a.m. Sunday.

Cole told detectives that, when he and the desk clerk reopened the box at 7:30 p.m., only the

passports were in it. Returning from their Sunday night concert, the Led Zeppelin

performers—guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist John Paul Jones, drummer John Bonham and

singer Robert Plant—brushed past newsmen in the hotel lobby and refused to answer questions

about the missing money.

Led Zeppelin's manager booked for taking film


August 1, 1973


NEW YORK (UPI) — Peter Grant, manager of the Led Zeppelin, was charged Monday with robbery for taking film from a newspaper photographer trying to make pictures after the alleged theft of $180,000

from the British rock group.

Grant held a brief news conference at the Drake Hotel, where the theft reportedly took place, and then left for a police station, where he voluntarily surrendered.

Police said Grant roughed up photographer Charles Ruppmann of the New York Daily News shortly after midnight and forced him to surrender his film of the Led Zeppelin's tumultuous arrival at the

hotel after a Madison Square Garden rock concert.

Third-degree robbery is a felony punishable by up to seven years' imprisonment. Detectives, meanwhile, fingerprinted hotel employes who had access to a Drake safe-deposit box that the rock group said contained $180,000 in $100 bills. Robert Cole (sic), a Zeppelin employe, said he had last

seen the money when he opened the box at 1:20 a.m. Sunday.

Expensive life for rock group

Des Moines (IA) Sunday Register

By Ernest Leogrande (New York News Writer)

October 16, 1973

MYSTERIOUS disappearance of $180,000 of Led Zeppelin concert receipts from a safety deposit box at the Drake Hotel in New York City this summer prompted the question of what anyone is doing carrying all that money in cash anyway. The answer from men in the business, is that it

isn't all that strange.

If the Led Zeppelin performing quartet seemed not too concerned over what New York police called the largest single theft safe deposit box, you must remember that rock super-stars are accustomed to living expensively. Just contemplate the Boeing 720B, dubbed Starship One and fitted out to order

for the Zeppelin tour at a $250,000 cost paid to the Los Angeles company which rents the plane. It had a bedroom with a marble fireplace and a double bed covered with a white fur bedspread, a bathroom with a shower, a mirrored salon and a club room with an electric organ, two color TV sets, velvet couches and white leather chairs. In flight, the passengers watched video cassettes on the TV sets and, of course, no one built a fire in the fireplace.

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