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- First Thief: "Don't bust up the statue!"
- Second Thief: "Sorry!"
- ―Indiana Jones Adventures: Volume 2: Curse of the Invincible Ruby
In 1931, there was a worldwide series of thefts of statues by Wohat from different museums. Ballantine Gruber, the chief of security at the New York Museum of History, which held a crocodile carving by Wohat, sensed an opportunity to have the crocodile stolen and the copycat theft blamed on the main Wohat statue thieves. He hired two men to rob the museum.
The two masked thieves entered the museum at night, and eventually identified the right piece to steal, bypassing several other items on display. After picking up the crocodile, the alarm sounded, and both men accused each other of not having disable the alarm. Fleeing from a pair of security guards, the two burglars ran down a hall into a larger gallery and ambushed their pursuers. After using the statue to knock out one of the guards, one of the thieves was reprimanded by his partner for endangering the statue. Gruber entered the gallery and they charged him. Reminding them not to hit him with the statue, Gruber was instead subdued with a blackjack to the back of his head, and then tied up. The two thieves fled the museum with their stolen artifact.
Later, the thieves managed to turn the stolen item over for sale on the black market.
When attacked by Ali Bey-Faisal and his henchmen in Barcelona, Gruber claimed that this trio were the ones who had robbed the museum in New York. Indiana Jones later caught Gruber in this lie, and deduced that Gruber had masterminded the copycat theft.