Police retrieve dozens of stolen John Lennon items

John Lennon
John Lennon (Image credit: Getty)

Police in Germany have recovered around 100 items that once belonged to John Lennon and were stolen from his widow Yoko Ono in 2006.

The personal items were taken from Ono’s home in New York and included three diaries, two pairs of the Beatle’s metal-rimmed glasses, a cigarette case and a handwritten music score.

The Associated Press report that the items resurfaced in July this year when a bankruptcy administrator for Berlin auctioneers Auctionata contacted authorities after the memorabilia was found in the company’s storage facility.

Police confiscated the items and arrested a suspect on Monday and raided his home in Berlin. During the search of his car, they found more of Lennon’s belongings in a briefcase which had been hidden in the boot.

AP report that Ono’s former driver, who is living in Turkey, is one of the suspects and that police are currently trying to get them extradited to Germany.

Police officers flew to New York to meet Ono who verified the stolen items.

Prosecutor Susann Wettley says: “She was very emotional and we noticed clearly how much these things mean to her and how happy she would be to have them back.”

Also among the trove of memorabilia is a recording of a 1965 Beatles’ concert, contract documents for the copyright of Lennon’s I’m The Greatest and handwritten scores for Woman and Just Like Starting Over.

One of the diaries that was recovered contains an entry made by Lennon on the morning of December 8, 1980 – just hours before he was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman.

Rock Icons: John Lennon by Brian May

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.