FBI Recovers Stolen First Edition Book of Mormon in Herndon
The rare edition of the Book of Mormon is believed to have been stolen from an Arizona bookstore.
The FBI announced Thursday that it has recovered a rare first-edition of the Book of Mormon in Herndon.
The book, recovered on Tuesday, is believed to have been stolen from a bookstore in Mesa, Ariz. during Memorial Day weekend, according to the FBI. The FBI assisted the Mesa Police Department in finding the book through the FBI's Art Theft Program.
The book, first published in 1830, was reportedly stolen from the Rare and Out of Print Books and Art store in Mesa. Experts put its value at $40,000, although its owner, Helen Schlie, 88-year-old owner of the bookstore, said it was appraised at $100,000, according to the East Valley Tribune.
Investigators arrested Jay Michael Linford, 48, of Gilbert, Ariz. and Palmyra, N.Y., on Tuesday while he was at the apartment of an acquaintance in Herndon. He was staying there as a guest. The FBI had a search warrant for the apartment and found the stolen book.
Linford is in custody at the Fairfax County Detention Facility on a $40,000 cash bond and awaiting extradition to Arizona. He faces charges of theft and trafficking stolen property.
The Mesa Police Department, Herndon Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia all assisted in the case.
The FBI formed its Art Crime Team in 2004 through the Art Theft Program. It is a rapid deployment team that includes 14 FBI special agents that are assigned to field offices throughout the United States, including in Washington, D.C. The Art Crime Team has recovered more than 2,650 items worth more than $150 million.
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