July 29, 1973

Drake Hotel Robbery

date: 
July 29, 1973
description: 
Drake Hotel Robbery

At 7:30pm, road manager Richard Cole discovers their hotel safe deposit box had been robbed - approximately $200,000 in cash - as the band were just about to perform their last of three nights at Madison Square Garden. 

Peter Grant holds a press conference the following day, while the band remained in seclusion in their 17th floor suites. Despite a thorough police investigation, the crime remains unsolved.

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News Report: Thieves roll rock band for $200,000 in cash

NEW YORK (UPI) - More than $200,000 in cash was stolen from the hotel safety deposit box of the Led Zeppelin, a British rock and roll group, police said Sunday.

Officers said Richard Cole, the group's tour rnanager, told them the money was in the box when he opened it about 1:20 a.m. Sunday morning, but when he checked it at 7:30 p.m., it contained only 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 assistant 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.

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