Thieves of important books by Galileo and Newton got arrested

by Ursula Kampmann

translated by Maike Messmann

15 members of an organised crime group from Romania got arrested on 26 June 2019. They are suspected of having stolen 260 books with a value of more than €2 million from a warehouse in Feltham, UK, in January 2017. These books – amongst which are first editions of central works of Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton – were supposed to be exhibited in the context of the California Book Fair that takes place in Los Angeles every two years in February.

The gang acted very professionally: they managed to switch off all the security systems and to get the books out of the UK. The prosecution was only successful because authorities from different countries coordinated by Eurojust in The Hague worked together. After three meetings, in which they determined how to proceed during the joint operation, the Romanian, Italian and British authorities succeeded together in solving the crime and arresting 15 suspects. Until now, there is no information as to whether the books have been found or whether they are still lost.

Other things you might be interested in:

Here you find a website where you can report book thefts.

Following this link, you can download a complete list of the stolen books from Feltham, amongst which are works of Petrarch, Giordano Bruno, Dante and Leonhard Euler.