NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A judge didn’t throw the book at Timothy Smith, but he did sentence him to some time in prison.
WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Case
The stolen books – worth $1 million – were rare first editions by Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
It was Smith, an electronics installer working in the 5th Avenue mansion that belonged to the late Carter Burden, who found them and took them.
Burden was a multi-millionaire Vanderbilt heir, well-known around the city for the parties he threw and as a politician – he was a city councilman in the 1970s. He collected rare books by the thousands.
Smith claimed these books that he found had been left to rot in the basement when he rescued them.
The prosecutor said he just took them off a bookshelf.
He finally admitted he took them without the permission of Burden’s widow.
“That’s stealing,” said the judge, as he sentenced him to one year in jail.