Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cops Nab "Tome Raider" Two years on the Lam

William Jacques, the notorious "Tome Raider," was arrested in Selby, North Yorkshire on Christmas Day 2009 after eluding the police for more than two years. He will appear at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court accused of stealing antique horticultural books from the Royal Horticultural Society's London library.

The thirteen volumes are said to be worth about £50,000. It is alleged Jacques stole them by signing in to the library under the false name of Mr Santoro and then hiding them under his jacket. "Mr. Santoro" was a new alias; Jacques is also known by the nom de theft, David Fletcher.

Jacques, 40, a former Cambridge student who plundered rare book collections worth up to £1.1 million from libraries faced a lengthy jail term when first arrested in 2002. 
He had stolen hundreds of first edition books and sold them at auction houses in the UK.

At the turn of the century (21st), the former chartered accountant was convicted by a jury of 19 counts of theft from the British Library, the Cambridge University Library and the London Library dating from October 1996 to May 1999. Jacques was jailed for four years for that offense, which constituted one of the biggest hauls in legal history.

After he got out, he started up again, this time as Santoro.

Jacques will likely proclaim his innocence, declaring that he only eluded the authorities to search for the real culprit, a mysterious one-armed man.

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