Friday, June 23, 2006

Map Thief Pleads Guilty

Amazing as it may seem, Dr. Lyle Mayhew, Columbia University's resident map thief, hasn't been the only criminal stealing valuable items from libraries across the US. Yesterday, a map dealer by the name of E. Forbes Smiley III (you can't make up a name like that!) pled guilty to stealing almost a hundred rare maps. Thirty-two of the maps were stolen from the New York Public Library alone.

While no one was watching, the respectable-looking Mr. Smiley would cut the maps from antique books and hide them under his jacket or inside his briefcase. Over the years, he managed to abscond with more than three million dollars worth of materials, which he then sold to wealthy collectors around the world. It wasn't until a security camera at a Yale University library caught him in the act that Mr. Smiley's career as a thief came to an abrupt end.

Thankfully, most of the stolen maps will soon be returned to their rightful owners. The authorities have given up on only five of them, though Kiki Strike thinks she may know where they might be. Soon E. Forbes Smiley III will be hauled off to jail, and we can only hope that Dr. Lyle Mayhew will be following close behind him.

For more information on the case, check out this article from the New York Times.


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