Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2019 Issue

Sacramento Man Charged with Stealing Thousands of Books from Library

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Books stolen from Sacramento library (Sacramento County Sheriff photo).

A 46-year-old man has been arrested and charged with stealing a large number of books from the Fair Oaks Library, part of the Sacramento (California) Public Library system. When we say a large number, we are not exaggerating. The Sacramento County Sheriff's office pegged the number at 2,689. In addition, Shahin Sadighian has been charged with taking 3,846 DVDs. The estimated value of the haul is $100,000.

 

It must have taken a while for someone to remove so many books (and for librarians to notice). However, when they realized an unusual number of items appeared to be missing, they turned to their security cameras. This was where they noticed a man came to the library, primarily on Saturdays, and wandered around with a backpack on his back. He would stuff some books in the backpack, and check out, but he only checked out one or two of the books he had taken. After noticing the pattern, librarians called in the county sheriff. They identified a suspect and obtain a search warrant, which was issued the day after Christmas.

 

When they searched Sadighian's home, they found the stash of books and DVDs scattered around the house. These were not particularly notable books, not something taken from a rare book room or otherwise of high value. They had clear library markings on them. It leads to the hard-to-answer question - why?

 

These would not have been easy to sell with the library markings. The amount of work needed to disguise them, combined with their low value, seems to make it dubious it would be worth the effort to sell them, perhaps for a buck or two apiece. Being circulated library books, they not only would be of insignificant collecting value, but their condition would tend to be less than ideal as well. Considering the size of the horde sitting around his house, it does not appear Sadighian was a "bookseller."

 

One of the officers investigating the crime speculated that maybe Sadighian just liked books. That seems as likely a motive as anything else. His house was already beginning to take on the trappings of legendary 19th century bibliophile Sir Thomas Phillipps' home. Perhaps it is just as well someone saved Sadighian before he traveled too far down that road.

 

Sadighian was charged with felony shoplifting and grand theft. He was released on bail.


Posted On: 2019-02-02 03:44
User Name: mairin

Thank you, Rare Book Hub, for this informative newspiece by Michael Stillman.
I especially appreciate his reference to 19thC bibliophile, Sir Thomas Phillipps,
an usual & colorful case in the annals of book addicts.

Maureen E. Mulvihill
February 1st, 2019
Collector & Rare Book Hub Guest Writer, 2016, 2018.
____


Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Bonhams<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>New York | June 11, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 11:</b> Faulkner, William. <i>The Sound and the Fury.</i> New York: Jonathan Cape, [1929]. First edition in dust jacket. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 11:</b> Trautz-Bauzonnet bindery. Shakespeare, William. Sonnets. 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 11:</b> Thompson, Kay. <i>Eloise at Christmastime.</i> New York: Random House, [1958]. First edition. In custom binding by Asprey. $2,000 to $3,000
    <center><b>Bonhams<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>New York | June 11, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 11:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 11:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. $6,000 to $9,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 11:</b> Taylor, Deems. <i>Walt Disney’s Fantasia.</i> New York: 1940. In custom binding by Asprey. $2,500 to $3,500
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>Shakespeare’s Sonnets, In Two Parts,</i> limited Saint Dunstan edition, Oxford University Press, 1901. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. $18,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b><br>Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b><br>Ian Fleming, <i>The Man with the Golden Gun,</i> first edition, first state with the dust jacket, London, 1965. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>The Voyage Out,</i> first American edition of the author’s first book, in rare dust jacket, NY, 1920. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> Gabriel García Márquez, <i>Cien años de soledad,</i> Buenos Aires, 1967. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> Mary Mapes Dodge, <i>Along the Way,</i> first edition, author’s copy, annotated in her hand, NY, 1879. $1,800 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> <i>The Dial: A Monthly Magazine for Literature, Philosophy and Religion,</i> first edition, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s copy, Cincinnati, 1860. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> Gaston Leroux, <i>The Phantom of the Opera,</i> first American edition, first printing, New York, 1911. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 14:</b> Walt Whitman, <i>Leaves of Grass,</i> signed, Camden, 1876. $4,000 to $6,000.

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