Friday, August 10, 2007

CA Man Arrested in Book Thefts

Back in late February I noted the theft of some 400 rare books (as well as some antiques) from the estate of retired Harvard professor William Ernest Hocking. Now, the AP reports the arrest of Jay Miller, a 36-year old resident of Berkeley, CA. Miller "was arrested last month at a storage facility in Richmond, CA, by local police and FBI agents in connection with the thefts. He was turned over to the FBI on a federal warrant for interstate transportation of stolen property. The state warrant was on burglary charges." He's currently in custody pending extradition to NH.

Some of the stolen items were apparently recovered at the storage facility, but "Madison Police Chief John Pickering said still missing are 175 books and the card catalog to the family library, as well as some statues and an antique clock." Pickering says they have some further leads which they're following up.

"Pickering said that Miller, who used to run a book business in California, had been an acquaintance of the family at the estate. 'He knew the comings and goings of the family during the winter and he took the opportunity to strike when nobody was there,' Pickering said. 'He was almost like part of the family at one point, many years ago.'"

Well, I guess now we'll get to see how New Hampshire metes out justice to book thieves. I'm glad so much has been recovered, and hope that more of the items will make their way home soon.