Oscar Hero Robbed!

One day you’re the hero in a high-profile theft case that makes headlines and changes your life.

A few months later, you’re the victim of a low-profile crime that goes almost unnoticed but also changes your life.

So it goes for Willie Fulgear, the 61-year-old Los Angeles scrap metal dealer who earned a $50,000 reward in March, when he found most of the gold-plated Oscar statuettes that were stolen en route from a Chicago foundry to Los Angeles. In addition to the money, he received a limo ride to the Academy Awards and a seat alongside Hollywood’s finest.

Sometime from May 15 to June 1, thieves broke into Fulgear’s tiny apartment and made off with a 500 pound safe that contained about $40,000 of his reward money, plus some jewelry, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Fulgear was visiting relatives in Mississippi at the time.

The LAPD would give no more details of the crime. We tried calling Willie himself, but his phone number has since been changed or disconnected.

So it goes for Willie Fulgear.