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Police: Man Stole Brains, Sold Them on EBay 

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Old 01-01-2014, 09:52 PM
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Police: Man Stole Brains, Sold Them on EBay

The brain tissue was taken from the Indiana Medical History Museum, site of the former Central State Hospital, which treated patients with psychiatric and mental disorders from 1848 to 1994.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Suspect nabbed in police sting operation
Man who bought brain tissue for $600 on eBay tipped police
Much of the stolen material has been returned to
INDIANAPOLIS -- The details sound like the plot of a bad horror movie: Desperate for cash, a young man breaks into a warehouse to steal the brains of dead mental patients, and the body parts are later sold on eBay.

This story line, however, is real.

Authorities say David Charles, a 21-year-old Indianapolis resident, is accused of breaking into the Indiana Medical History Museum multiple times last year and stealing jars of human brain tissue and other preserved material. A tipster who paid hundreds of dollars on the online auction site helped bring the organ entrepreneurism to an end.

The museum is the site of the former Central State Hospital, which served patients with psychiatric and mental disorders from 1848 to 1994. Indianapolis police had investigated several break-ins at the museum's storage facility before a California phone call led police to Charles.

A San Diego man who had bought six jars of human brain tissue off eBay for $600, plus $70 shipping, called the museum after noticing labels on the containers and suspecting some kind of skulduggery, according to court documents.

Detectives with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department used that tip to trace the transactions, eventually speaking to the eBay seller who provided the brain tissue to the San Diego man. That seller had obtained the brain matter from Charles, police said.

Police set up a sting Dec. 16. The eBay middleman set up a meeting at a Dairy Queen parking lot with Charles, who the day before stole 60 jars of human tissue from the museum, according to authorities and court documents.

Once the parking lot deal went down, authorities said, a bust was made. One person with Charles reached for a handgun and was tackled by officers, court documents said. His name and the names of others involved in the case were redacted in the documents.

Charles faces charges of theft, marijuana possession and paraphernalia possession, according to court documents. Investigators also are looking into the possibility of additional charges, said A.J. Deer, a spokesman for the Marion County prosecutor's office.

Whether others are facing charges is unclear.

The museum's executive director expressed dismay that anyone would steal the museum's artifacts. The organ tissues come from about 2,000 patients whose remains were autopsied from about the 1890s through the 1940s.

"It's horrid anytime a museum collection is robbed," Mary Ellen Hennessey Nottage said. "A museum's mission is to hold these materials as cultural and scientific objects in the public interest. To have that disturbed — to have that broken — is extraordinarily disturbing to those of us in the museum field."

Nottage, who is grateful that much of the stolen material has been returned, said she spoke to the San Diego man who paid $670 on eBay for human brain tissue.

"He just said he liked to collect odd things," she said.

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Old 01-01-2014, 11:33 PM
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Re: Police: Man Stole Brains, Sold Them on EBay

I bought one. The label states the name Abbey someone.......Abbey Normal I think it says.

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Old 01-02-2014, 01:00 AM
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Re: Police: Man Stole Brains, Sold Them on EBay

Weird. Isn't it illegal to sell body parts n Ebay anyway?

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Old 01-02-2014, 05:53 AM
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Re: Police: Man Stole Brains, Sold Them on EBay

That's a weird way to make money.

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Old 01-02-2014, 06:35 AM
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Re: Police: Man Stole Brains, Sold Them on EBay

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Originally Posted by Megamel29 View Post
Weird. Isn't it illegal to sell body parts n Ebay anyway?
I posted their policy. You can sell them if you state the item is to be used for teaching purposes, if memory serves.

Here ya go, Meg!

eBay's Human Remains and Body Parts Policy

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Old 01-02-2014, 06:36 AM
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Re: Police: Man Stole Brains, Sold Them on EBay

Damn! I was just on my way to post this!

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Old 01-02-2014, 06:41 AM
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Re: Police: Man Stole Brains, Sold Them on EBay

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondsmiles View Post
I posted their policy. You can sell them if you state the item is to be used for teaching purposes, if memory serves.

Here ya go, Meg!

eBay's Human Remains and Body Parts Policy

Oh a loophole. Gotcha. Thanks, DS.

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Old 01-02-2014, 04:05 PM
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Re: Police: Man Stole Brains, Sold Them on EBay

I think it's the best idea since sliced bread. After all there are a hell of a lot of people out there who have no brains. Purchasing one on eBay would be a major help.

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Old 01-04-2014, 12:41 AM
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Re: Police: Man Stole Brains, Sold Them on EBay

metal

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Old 01-04-2014, 01:57 AM
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Re: Police: Man Stole Brains, Sold Them on EBay

Quote:
Originally Posted by azdesertsnake01 View Post
I think it's the best idea since sliced bread. After all there are a hell of a lot of people out there who have no brains. Purchasing one on eBay would be a major help.
Sadly, the ones who need them the most won't think about buying a new one

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