Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Difficulty of Insider Book Theft

Oxford University Press takes a look at the black market rare book trade.

From the post...

He seems to have treated the place as his own personal collection, stealing and selling hundreds — maybe thousands — of rare and antiquarian books during his 11 month tenure. This has provoked the normal amount of head-shaking and hand-wringing. But what is most striking — aside from the embarrassing appointment of the unqualified de Caro to the job in the first place — is how terrible a thief he was.

For an insider, stealing rare books, maps and documents is easy. It takes no talent and very little planning. But turning those stolen items into cash while also staying out of jail requires skill, and a great deal of effort. De Caro, like many insiders before him, seems not to have properly thought this through.

The first step in the successful insider heist is to identify items unlikely to be either missed by the institution or recognized by buyers as stolen. For the same reason that stealing the Mona Lisa is a bad idea, taking the most famous or in-demand items in a library or archive is ill-advised. They’ll be likely recognized as missing and, in any event, will raise suspicions in anyone knowledgeable enough to pay full price for them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.