Crimes & Criminals

Denmark library recovers works stolen years ago

Charles Davis notes News From Denmark where investigators have uncovered 1,600 antique books, maps and documents stolen from Denmark's Royal Library.The thefts of the works, worth millions of dollars, started in the late '60s and stopped in 1977-1978, said Erland Kolding Nielsen, director general of the state-owned library.

"It is without any doubt one of the largest thefts of cultural artifacts in Denmark, ever," he said.

Over the years, 3,200 rare books and documents -- including first editions by Immanuel Kant, Thomas More, John Milton and several hundred prints by Martin Luther -- had disappeared from the downtown library.

Arsonists damage school libraries in CA and MI

Police say an arsonist set an early morning fire Sunday in the Grand Haven, MI, High School library that caused $50,000 in damage.

Meanwhile, in CA, SFGate Reports the fire at the K-5 year-round school for 850 students is the seventh fire at a Bay Area school in as many weeks and authorities are trying to determine whether this fire is linked to any of the others.
The fire, which caused an estimated $100,000 in total damage, is considered suspicious, Fairfield Fire Department Capt. Jeff Chandler said. Investigators found evidence that someone tried to set leaves on fire, as well as some cardboard and paper, at two sites outside the school's multipurpose room, Chandler said.

Police recover hundreds of stolen library books

News From IL where 117 hardcover cookbooks mysteriously disappeared in 2001, most likely a few at a time, from the Bettendorf Public Library.
Now, after a search of a Bettendorf apartment, police said Wednesday that they have located those books and about 300 more that had turned up missing from other Quad-City area libraries.

Although an arrest has not yet been made in the case, Bettendorf police expect to charge a suspect with first-degree felony theft. Exactly how the books were spirited out of libraries and why remains unclear.
At the time of their initial disappearance, Clow called the missing volumes “big, beautiful, specialty and general cookbooks — an amazing list of wonderful things.�
Purchased at retail, they would have cost more than $2,300. The value listed by the library was actually $1,391, a number that represented about 5 percent of its $28,000 budget for purchasing nonfiction books.
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No books were found to be missing from other subject areas at the Bettendorf library, but various types of publications were stolen from other area libraries.

Missourian steals library books to sell on eBay

misseli writes "From The Iowa Channel:A Gladstone, MO, man is accused of stealing dozens of books from the library and selling them on eBay, KMBC 9 News in Kansas City reported.A total of 156 library books are missing from the Mid-Continent Library branch. A search of 72-year-old Ronald Pashen's home turned up 28 books. Another 29 were identified by eBay customers, and 99 other books are still missing, KMBC reported.Workers at the library said the alleged thief was a regular visitor.

"He didn't check out that many books at once, so this is really a surprise to us all," assistant librarian Vicki Madick said.

Authorities said they haven't been able to find Pashen to make an arrest."

The Mysterious Fate of the Great Library of Alexandria

What happened to the Royal Library of Alexandria? We can be certain it was there once, founded by Ptolomy II Soter, and we can be equally certain it is not there now. It formed part of the Museum which was located in the Bruchion or palace quarter of the city of Alexandria.
The suspects respectively are a Roman, a Christian and a Moslem - Julius Caesar, Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria and Caliph Omar of Damascus. It is clear that the Royal Library could not have been burnt down or otherwise destroyed by all three of these characters and so we find we have too many sources for the event of the destruction rather than a paucity.

Stolen, looted, lost and burned

Stolen, looted, lost and burned is an article from The Guardian on an unprecedented virtual exhibition. Curated and introduced by Jonathan Jones.

"There are hundreds of thousands of missing works of art. Some - like the Cellini sculpture that has just been ransomed for £3.5m and the 'Leonardo' that was stolen from the Duke of Buccleuch last week - have been taken by thieves. Others have been destroyed by war or natural disaster. All of them acquire special significance once they disappear".

Library Burglarized Six Times

April Durham writes "Thieves strike again at Wahiawa [Hawaii] library: In most recent break-in (the sixth in 12 months), thieves carted off all but the last six of the library's computers, cutting away chains to haul them off. As for DVDs, the library now has only the ones that were in circulation at the time of the latest burglary. Head librarian Anthony Hooper fears it's only a matter of time until the library is hit again. Meanwhile, the building has to make do without a security system as various entities struggle to come to agreement and come up with resources." Bank robbers often return to branches and individual tellers that have served them well in the past. Time for an Insurrection?

Burglars hit HI library yet again

Sad News From Honolulu Star-Bulletin, they say a burglar or burglars broke into the Wahiawa Public Library last weekend, the sixth break-in at the library over the past year.

Staff members said the burglar or burglars pried the back sliding door open and used box cutters to cut through a heavy-link chain wrapped around the lock of the iron gate at the library entrance.

Two screen monitors, three central processing units and a fax machine were stolen, said Anthony Hooper, the library's temporary branch manager.

National Library of Wales criticised over map thefts

The BBC Reports razors were used to steal a number of maps dating from the early and mid 17th century from the library's Aberystwyth building.

But a four-month delay in informing dealers of what had been taken may have prevented the maps being recovered, according to the Antiquarian Booksellers Associations.
Detectives at Aberystwyth are trying to trace a man wanted for questioning in connection with the thefts in Wales and abroad.

Peter Joseph Bellwood, 50, is listed on the Metropolitan Police's website as one of the 10 most wanted fugitives in the UK.
Small pictures of Mr. Bellwood included in the story.

Police suspect theft in rare book mystery

Lynn writes "Toronto police are searching for the owner of a collection of extremely rare books that a suave young man was trying to sell in the city.

A man was arrested for possession of property obtained by crime after police were called by a suspicious book dealer, Inspector Ken Kinsman of the downtown 51 Division said yesterday.

Here's The Full Story "

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