The thieves drove a horse and wagon to Oak Ridge Cemetery and sawed off the iron door to Lincoln's tomb. After they pried the marble lid off the tomb, they began to remove the wooden casket.
At that point, one of the gang gave a signal. It turned out that a government undercover agent had infiltrated the gang. The tomb filled with Secret Service Agents.
Though the gang members escaped into the night, they were arrested a few days later in Chicago. Feelings ran high against them. However, it was determined that no laws had actually been broken. No law existed in Illiinois at that time against stealing a body.
Lincoln's son Robert engaged the best lawyers in the state toprosecute the theives. Finally, the men involved were sentenced to twelve months in prison for "conspiring to steal a coffin worth $75."
Friends and family of President Lincoln believed other theives might attempt to steal the body. They had his coffin hidden away in a dark hallway for several years.
Finally, Lincoln's body was entombed in a great ball of steel, anchored ten feet under the floor of the tomb in solid cement.