Tom Petty’s family has accused Boston-based auction house RR Auction of listing what they claim are “outright stolen” items that belonged to the late singer, according to social media posts on Petty’s official accounts.
“The family is pursuing all available legal action for the immediate return of these items,” the post said, adding that fans and collectors should “refrain from participating in this auction until the matter is settled, to avoid further getting involved in this legal action.”
In a statement to the Globe Thursday afternoon, Mark S. Zaid, an attorney for RR Auction, said that in “respectful deference” to the Petty family, the items will be withdrawn from auction for the time being.
“RR Auction is aggressively investigating the situation involving the alleged theft of items from the Estate of rock n’ roll icon Tom Petty that were consigned by a third party to be auctioned on June 22, 2023,” the statement said. “RR Auction is withdrawing all of the lots and securing them until this matter is properly resolved.”
Attorneys for the Petty family have been notified, Zaid said.
“We hope to see mutual cooperation continue to verify the facts of the situation,” the statement said. “Obviously, there is information that both sides need to ascertain before conclusive lawful title to the items is determined.”
In a social media post, the Petty family said the items listed for sale, which included jackets, hats, vests, boots, shirts, shoes, and autographed records, were allegedly stolen from the family’s secure archive and can be “easily traced back to family members.”
“These items have irreplaceable sentimental and educational value for the family and legacy of Tom Petty and we look forward to their safe return,” Petty’s estate said.
Forty items were listed on RR Auction’s website, with prices ranging from $200 to $5,724.
RR Auction doesn’t own the items Petty’s estate claims were stolen, but it represents the consignor, which provided the items to the auction house. Petty’s estate said RR Auction won’t disclose the name of the consignor, “or how they were acquired.”
“But they are clearly stolen, there is no other word for it,” Petty’s family said.
Brittany Bowker can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker and on Instagram @brittbowker.