If you ever find yourself humming “If I Only Had A Brain,” you might want to check eBay.
According to police, David Charles, a 21-year-old Indianapolis man, spent the last year repeatedly breaking into the Indiana Medical History Museum to swipe specimens. He wasn’t taking a page from Dr. Frankenstein’s book, but was looking to make a quick buck off the body parts housed in the museum’s collection.
Charles allegedly swiped human brains and other preserved tissue from the museum’s seemingly vast stores of specimens from the 2,000 patients whose remains were autopsied from about the 1890s through the 1940s back when the museum was the Central State Hospital, which served patients with psychiatric and mental disorders from 1848 to 1994. Charles then passed off the maudlin merch to a middleman who sold the specimens on eBay, the online auction site.
Police had investigated several break-ins at the museum over the last year, but were alerted to the ongoing specimen theft ring when an eBay buyer in San Diego called them. The buyer, who, according to the Indianapolis Star, had bought six jars of human brain tissue off eBay for $600, plus $70 shipping, presumably for completely reasonable purposes, had become suspicious that the brains were stolen when he noticed labels on several of the specimen jars. He called the Indianapolis police who traced the eBay sales to find the seller.
The seller worked with police to set up a sting operation to catch the wannabe Igor. The eBay middleman set a meeting with Charles in the parking lot of a Dairy Queen, but instead of getting a Frostie and the 60 jars of human tissue Charles had recently stolen from the museum, the police swept in. Charles now faces charges of theft, marijuana possession and paraphernalia possession, according to the Indianapolis Star, with the possibility of additional charges pending and, of course, a Hollywood film offer.