Really there's nothing new with the recent AP story about a man, Mr. Brooke who was caught with a $5,000 book, 'Pennsylvania Evening Post, Collection of Jan-Apr. 1777, in his waist band from the Wisconsin Historical Society because he wanted to read a story on page 106 of William Hill.
Libraries have been complaining about Books, Book plates and Maps which are missing since years. There's an upswing in criminal mischief with the advent of eBay, Amazon and other places making it easier to sell. The collector's pieces sell like hot cakes!
In one rare case, a Mr Smiley was caught cutting rare maps out of rare books in the Beinecke Library at Yale. A graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst and so with scholarly air, it was not hard for E. Forbes Smiley III to blend in at the Yale rare-books library and make himself at home among its Atlases and Maps. Here goes the recent story of Alison Leigh Cowan at NY Times. It seems many of the customers who bought his wares were the rich, powerful, influential and nation's prestigious and secretive collectors!!!