Cambridge Grad Convicted on Tome-Thieving Charge

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Arthur Baensch/Corbis

The place where Cambridge graduate William Jacques committed a crime for which he is going to spend the next three-and-a-half years in prison was not a bank, an expensive store or the home of a rich celebrity. It was a library.

Between 2004 and 2007, Jacques, 41, pilfered 13 books, worth some $61,000. He was convicted on Tuesday for the crime.

“Your entire motivation was commercial and you intended to make whatever money you could from the theft of these books despite their cultural value”, the judge declared in his ruling.

Jacques should have known better: It was not the first time the Cambridge graduate had tried to make money with stolen books. In 2002 he was sentenced to four years in jail after having stolen 500 rare books worth nearly $1,530,000.

Recorder Michael Holland told Jacques today in his ruling: “You have absolutely no intention of turning away from what seems to you to be an extremely lucrative and easy crime.”

Never the ones to miss a clever pun, the British press sent Jacques on his way with a catchy new nickname: “Tome Raider”. (via BBC/ the Guardian)

-– By Rick Noack