A 23-year-old Indiana man has pleaded guilty to breaking into a medical museum and stealing preserved human brains and other tissue that he then sold online, authorities said.
David Charles, of Indianapolis, pleaded guilty to six charges including receiving stolen property, and burglary in a Marion County court where Magistrate Amy Barbar sentenced him to one year of home detention and two years of probation.
Charles on multiple occasions broke into the Indiana Medical History Museum to steal jars of brains and other human tissue, according to Marion County prosecutor’s office.
The museum is a former hospital for the insane founded in 1848 and later converted into a museum with an autopsy room and anatomical museum that displays preserved specimens, mostly brains, organized by pathology.
Charles was arrested after a San Diego man who bought six jars of brain material for $600 on eBay alerted police. Many of the items Charles sold were recovered when the San Diego man matched the items he bought to those stolen from the museum based on research he did online, according to court documents.
Investigators were able to identify Charles partly because he left behind in the museum a piece of paper with his bloody fingerprint on it.