I just heard about the arrest of three Ohio thieves who stole two rare books from the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library, including a copy of the rare Maxwell’s Code, the first major legal code for the Northwest Territory:
“McCarty and Bays visited the library on June 27 and asked to see the Laws of the Territory of the United States North West of the Ohio, also known as the Maxwell Code…McCarty eventually was seen leaving the women’s restroom with the books and was confronted by a staff member. The couple left and the employee recovered what he thought were both books. It wasn’t until early September that staff members discovered that the Freeman Code, a 32-page pamphlet, had been removed from its cover…On Aug. 25, Scranton visited the library and asked to see the Maxwell Code. He was unable to provide identification, but he agreed to turn over his backpack as collateral. When library staffers were distracted by other business, Scranton fled with the book. The backpack was found to be stuffed with paper towels…Investigators said McCarty sold the Freeman Code to a collector in England for $35,000 through a rare-book dealer in Philadelphia. He told the dealer he also had a copy of the Maxwell Code.”
Yecch. McCarty was apparently also convicted for forging a check stolen from Textbooksrus.com. Apparently it’s not clear whether the books have been recovered.