Way back in January I noted the theft of several rare books from Between the Covers Rare Books at the New Jersey Book Fair. All but one of those has now been recovered, the Newark Star-Ledger reported yesterday. "When he tried to sell one of the stolen books to Bauman Books in Manhattan, the thief was served up to the police and ultimately charged this week with theft of moveable property and conspiracy to commit theft, said East Hanover police Detective Jack Ambrose, who investigated the case with the help of a New York City police detective."
The thief didn't wait long to try and get rid of the goods; he called Bauman on 27 January (just two weeks after the thefts) and tried to sell them a first edition To Kill a Mockingbird, which he sent to the shop along with his bank account number (so they could pay him). The Bauman folks called police, and the rest is history.
Lunden, 36, is from Hudson, NY and apparently owns an "antiques transport business." He claims to have had an accomplice in the thefts, who's denying any involvement. Lunden's currently not in custody pending a court hearing.
One of the fourteen stolen books, a first edition of Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, was not returned. Its whereabouts are unknown.