Document thief sentenced to jail, fined


Barry H. Landau, the once-esteemed collector of presidential memorabilia, was sentenced seven years in federal prison Wednesday for stealing thousands of historic documents from archives and libraries in Baltimore and up the East Coast. The 64-year-old was also ordered to pay roughly $46,000 in restitution. No sentencing date is yet set for his 25-year-old accomplice, Jason James Savedoff, who, like Landau, has pleaded guilty to theft of major artwork and conspiracy charges.

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Jeez, once again newspaper reporters show their imcompetence by not publishing a good mug shot of the library thief. There is one photo showing him wearing an eye patch, that covers much of his face. There are other quick shots on the video.

But the idea of publishing a straight forward, unmasked mug shot by the cops with the news article is something that newspapers seldom do with library thieves. Yet this is one of the best way to locate stolen library property, by having librarians see if they recognize that the thief has used their library. When these criminals are arrested, they frequently have items in their possession that don't belong to them, but with few library markings, the police don't know who to return them too. By showing the face of the crook, librarians can see if that person was a patron of their library, and perhaps look to see if some of the items they looked at are now missing.

Without this kind of standard operation of publishing a photo, newspapers, as usual, disappoint the public.

The police mug shots have no copyright, and if the thief is found guilty and sentenced in a court of law, there are no problems or liability about publishing the photos in the newspapers, either.

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