Tag Archives: Thieves

Getting Away With History

“A thief who steals rare books and manuscripts is a specter haunting our libraries. And unlike graduate students, researchers, and others who hope to gain from the scholarship libraries make available, the thief aims to profit from the money that irreplaceable pieces of cultural history can bring on the market. Those who steal rare material from libraries commit a different kind of larceny than their bank-robbing counterparts: The items they take have both monetary and cultural value. This sentiment was noted by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who presided over the case of book thief Daniel Spiegelman, when he said Spiegelman had “deprived a generation of scholars and students of the irreplaceable raw materials by which they seek to discern the lessons of the past.” (via ITI)

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Library, pawn shop battle over stolen movies

“If Clermont County residents go into the Union Township library looking for the latest season of “Breaking Bad” or “How I Met Your Mother,” there’s a good chance they won’t find it. Not because the library doesn’t carry those titles, but because 23 percent of the branch’s DVD and Blu-ray Disc collection were stolen. “We’re talking roughly 200 (items),” said Adam Baker, Clermont County Public Library communications manager. The report filed with the Union Township Police Department shows 185 DVDs worth $6,500 were stolen.” (via Lancaster Eagle Gazette)

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New York Public Library fighting to retrieve baseball artifacts stolen by thieves and sold online

“Here’s a New York mystery for the books. Baseball artifacts stolen 40 years ago from the main branch of the New York Public Library are popping up online, and the FBI appears as stumped as a grade-schooler deciphering the Dewey Decimal System. The library is missing several hundred relics donated by baseball magnate Albert Spalding’s widow in 1921 — including a $50,000 photo of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, ancient baseball cards and letters to and from one of baseball’s founding fathers, Harry Wright.” (via NYPOST.com)

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National Library of Sweden to Recover Stolen Books

“A chance request in 2004 for a 19th-century German book about the Mississippi River was what alerted the National Library of Sweden that dozens of rare books from its collection had been stolen. Now that volume and another valuable antique book that contains early maps of America have been recovered and are being returned to library officials at a ceremony on Wednesday at the office of the United States Attorney in Manhattan.” (via NYTimes.com)

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NY man to be sentenced for rare document thefts

“A presidential memorabilia collector who has acknowledged stealing thousands of rare and valuable documents from historical societies and archives nationwide was set to be sentenced Wednesday in federal court. Barry Landau was caught stealing documents from the Maryland Historical Society in July 2011. A subsequent investigation concluded Landau, 64, or New York, stole at least 4,000 documents worth more than $1 million from archives around the country.”

via AP

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Police: Man stole books, DVDs from libraries to sell online

Chicago Sun Times – “A janitor wrote the book on how to get arrested, authorities say. Now he’s charged with stealing thousands of books and DVDs from the Lisle Library and selling them on the Internet. The case started in April, when a librarian found a notebook, apparently left accidentally by the alleged thief, James F. Jackson, 43, of Glen Ellyn. Handwritten in the notebook was a list of hundreds of books, said Katharine Seelig, acting director of the Lisle Library District. Some of the books listed in the notebook were missing from the library, Seelig soon found out. They had not been checked out, but they could not be found on the shelves.”

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Berlin library returning books stolen by Nazis

AP – “Berlin’s Central and Regional Library says it will return books the Nazis stole from the Social Democratic Party, including an English-language copy of the Communist Manifesto. The copy dates from 1883 and is believed to have belonged to Friedrich Engels, who penned the original German work with Karl Marx in 1848.”

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NY men charged in Md. presidential artifacts theft

AP – ” A published presidential historian was one of two men caught with millions of dollars in documents from the Maryland Historical Society, including some signed by President Abraham Lincoln, according to court documents. Baltimore police charged Barry Landau, 63, and Jason Savedoff, 24, both of New York City, on Saturday with theft of more than $100,000 and they were ordered held on Monday. The FBI is involved in the investigation under a federal statute that covers thefts from museums.”

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