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A brazen thief strolled into the lower level of the Bailey / Howe Library last year and walked off with the letters. Federal prosecutors said the crook was Barry Landau, whom they described as a con man masquerading as a presidential researcher and historian. Landau pled guilty and was sentenced in June to seven years in prison for plundering a string of libraries and archives along the East Coast. Investigators said Landau planned to sell the autographs to collectors.