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Man accused of stealing $1M in rare books says they were left to rot

New York Post – “It was trash not treasure. The home-electronics installer accused of pilfering $1 million worth of rare books from a Fifth Avenue mansion owned by the widow of a Vanderbilt heir claimed the precious tomes has been left to rot in the basement. Timothy Smith, 41, faces a felony grand larceny charge for the alleged theft from the late Carter Burden’s extensive collection of 20th century American literature, including first-edition copies by Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.”

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