The Moon Rock Thief: The Story of Thad Roberts

Thad Roberts,

Have you ever heard of Thad Roberts, the daring thief who stole a piece of the moon? That’s right, he didn’t just steal any ordinary rock – he made off with a lunar sample from NASA’s Johnson Space Center. It sounds like a plot straight out of a Hollywood thriller, but this wild tale is entirely true.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the incredible story of Thad Roberts and his audacious theft that captured headlines around the world. Get ready for an adventure that will leave you amazed and astounded!

The Moon Rock Heist

Early on the morning of July 13, 2002, a truck backed up to the loading dock of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The driver, Thad Roberts, was there to pick up some moon rocks.

The rocks were part of a collection that had been brought back from the moon by the Apollo astronauts and were worth millions of dollars. Roberts had been given permission to take them as part of a research project he was working on.

But instead of taking the rocks back to his lab, Roberts drove to a nearby storage unit where he met up with two accomplices. The three men loaded the rocks into a duffel bag and then drove off.

The Moon Rock Heist was one of the most audacious crimes in recent memory. It was also a case that revealed the dark side of human ambition.

Thad Roberts: From Aspiring Astronaut to Moon Rock Thief

Thad Roberts was born in Utah in 1977. He was a bright kid who dreamed of becoming an astronaut. In 1995, he enrolled in college at Brigham Young University with the goal of making his dream a reality.

While at BYU, Roberts met another student named Tiffany Fowler. The two began dating and eventually got married. They both shared a passion for space exploration and dreamed of one day going to Mars together.

In 1999, Roberts transferred to Florida Institute of Technology to study aerospace engineering. It was there that he first became interested in researching moon rocks. He contacted NASA about getting access to their collection and was eventually granted permission.

The Aftermath

The day after Thad’s arrest, his parents and sister drove to Florida from their home in Atlanta. They met with a bail bondsman and paid the $100,000 bond that would allow Thad to be released from jail until his trial.

The Roberts family then hired an attorney to represent Thad. His trial was set for February 2004, nearly a year after his arrest.

In the meantime, Thad lost his job at the Space Center and was living with his parents. He was also facing the possibility of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Roberts’ Life Today

Since the release from prison, Roberts has tried to make a fresh start. He moved back to Utah, got married, and started a family. Roberts now works as a project manager for an engineering firm. While he doesn’t talk about his time in prison or the moon rock theft much, he is grateful to be able to move on with his life.


Thad Roberts’ story of stealing moon rocks is a cautionary tale about the dangers of following your dreams too far. His actions and subsequent consequences serve as a reminder that some things are simply not worth it, no matter how much you might want them.

Although he was driven by his passion for space exploration and science, in the end Thad’s misguided ambition cost him dearly. Had he thought more carefully about his actions before taking them, his life could have turned out very differently.

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