Crimes & Criminals

Larceny at the library

Anonymous Patron writes "One more on Forbes Smiley. This time, from The Boston Globe. In June, Smiley was arrested and charged with stealing rare maps from Yale University. Other libraries Smiley has visited have also confirmed that maps are missing from their collections. This includes the Boston Public Library, where an ongoing inventory has revealed that 10 maps worth $165,000 are missing. One of the maps in Smiley's possession appears to belong to the library, according to the BPL's president, Bernard Margolis."

Librarian Sells Books Donated to the Library...Again

Three links (pick one) CBS News, WAND-TV and ABC News about disgraceful and illegal behavior by a librarian, Lori Burger, is being investigated by the Springfield IL Public Library. Burger is accused of stealing books, tapes and CDs donated to the library (valued at $10,000) and attempting to sell them on e-bay.

Trial opens in sale of stolen artifacts

Anonymous Patron writes "Testimony began Wednesday in the trial of a former National Museum of Naval Aviation employee accused of stealing artifacts from the museum and selling them on eBay.

Sherrie Shaw of Pace was charged with dealing in stolen property, forgery and theft after a U.S. Navy "Black Widow" Cross and its citation, a Purple Heart and its citation and a Mercury astronaut space boot were advertised for sale on the popular Internet auction site in late 2002 and early 2003.

From The Pensacola News Journal"

Map Thief or Good Guy?

From the Chicago Tribune; E. Forbes Smiley says he didn't do it.

Suspected of stealing from Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Smiley denies that he did anything wrong, although he was found standing suspiciously over an Xacto knife blade. The missing maps had of course been cut out of books with a blade.

It was later determined that Smiley had also visited the Boston Public Library and Chicago's Newberry Library, where maps were also mysteriously missing.

Library Thieves Busted At DC Area Used Bookstores

It only follows that in our current economy, when you can sell the shoes off your own mothers feet, that some people would stoop to borrowing library books and then proceed to sell them to the highest bidders.

Crystina J. Stephens 20, and her boyfriend, Larry L. Miler Jr., 23, decided to do just that, stealing 483 books from Prince Georges County (MD) Public Libraries, and selling them to local bookstores. Story from the Washington Post .

Their m.o. was to obtain multiple library cards under different names. A very clever police detective caught them in the act after notifying several used bookstores to be on the lookout for the book-toting pair.

White supremacist faces charges

Michael points us to An Article In The Chicago Tribune. A Berwyn man who is trying to organize a rally for white supremacists in a local park has been charged with destroying Holocaust-related videotapes in the Riverside Public Library, authorities said Wednesday.
In a lengthy statement to police, the man, who is unemployed and has longtime ties to hate groups, wrote that he pulled the videotape out of all five cassettes and left them on the floor for librarians to find because he believes the films are full of lies, Weitzel said.

Wolfson Archivist-Librarian Charged With Grand Theft

Anonymous Patron writes "A Miami TV Station reports that the Wolfson Archivist-Librarian has been charged with grand theft, using fraudulent checks and official misconduct."

Plot thickens in Australian vanishing books mystery

Anonymous Patron writes "A drunk man smashed the window of Melbourne's oldest antiquarian book stores and allegedly made off with two dozen of English literature's finest.
But There's More. He went through a window, and proceeded to splatter blood throughout the store after cutting himself on the window - smashed a glass cabinet at the back of the store before gathering the books into a cardboard box and fleeing. He has told police he does not remember what happened to the books.Sheilah McGrath-Campbell, a worker at the High Street store, had this to say:

"He obviously had no taste in books, though, because while they are beautiful books he took, and we're heart-broken they're gone, it's almost like that's all he saw because he passed another cabinet to get to this one at the back of the store."

Also spirited away was a copy of The Book of Fate and Fortune, An Encyclopedia of the Occult Sciences. But most valuable of all is a $3200 first edition of A Collection of Ancient Poems, Songs and Ballads of legendary English outlaw Robin Hood."

Vulnerability of Paris Library Gains Attention in France

Anonymous Patron writes "The New York Times has more on all those missing books at the National Library in France. Even so, Le Figaro asserted that the report provides a disturbing portrait of the difficulties of protecting as many as 35 million books, documents, manuscripts, maps and photographs.

"To turn the library into a locked safe would be easy, but it is not our vocation," the newspaper quoted Agnès Saal, the library's director-general, as saying. "Unlike museums, our documents are there to be consulted.""

Grand Theft from the French National Library

Speaking of theft, here's news from Paris of a theft on a very grand scale, where the curator of the French National Library (Michel Garel, an internationally known expert on Hebrew texts) is accused of stealing over 30,000 books, many rare and irreplaceable.

So chaotic are the library's cataloguing and security systems it is impossible to know when books were stolen. Some may have been "lost" in an institution that houses 35 million objects. But a year-long investigation by the president of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) found the library had been systematically pillaged over many years.

More coverage from the AP.

Update: 06/28 17:04 EST by B:The accused, Michel Garel, claims it's not his fault in this UPI story.

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