These Four Stars On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame Were Stolen

The Hollywood Walk of Fame, consisting of over 2,600 stars and nameplates embedded in the sidewalk along sections of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, California, has been a thing since 1958, according to the Walk's website. The Walk honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the entertainment industry in any of six categories: TV, film, recording, sports entertainment, live performance, or radio. The names honored there range from titans of the industry, such as Charlie Chaplin, to people whose names may be less well-known to industry outsiders.

The organization has said that once a name is installed in the Walk of Fame, it is never permanently removed — at least, not by the organization itself, as The Guardian reports. It's said that there are people who will steal anything that isn't nailed down, but even that isn't much of deterrent at times. That applies to the Walk of Fame, too. Inasmuch as the stars and nameplates are literally embedded into the ground, stealing one is going to require tools and a significant time commitment, and is almost certainly going to make noise and draw attention. Nevertheless, at least four stars have been stolen, according to Mental Floss

They weren't all stolen at the same time

The first star to be stolen from the Walk belonged to one of America's preeminent singing cowboys, Gene Autry (pictured above). He had a total of five stars on the Walk, one of which went missing during an unspecified construction project in 2000, according to Stacker. "Someday it will end up on eBay," quipped Johnny Grant, Hollywood's mayor at the time, to the Los Angeles Times. (It was eventually replaced.)

Jimmy Stewart and Kirk Douglas also lost their stars to theft at around the same time. It turned out that a construction worker had stolen them, and they were later found in his home. They were badly damaged and, like Autry's, had to be replaced.

The last person whose star was stolen, as of July 2021, was Gregory Peck. In a rather bold display of chutzpah, the thieves used a concrete buzzsaw to cut through the sidewalk. At first, officials thought it might have been done as part of a construction project, but there were none going on at the time.

Since those thefts, security cameras have been installed along the stretches of road where the Walk of Fame is located in hopes of deterring future thefts. So far, so good.