Theft duo in historical memorabilia case to be handled by feds

On Jul. 15, we wrote a post about a big theft case that’s come out of Maryland. An old collector and a young historian apparently worked together to compile what authorities are calling a “breathtaking” collection of stolen historical memorabilia.

The previous post about the local theft left off suggesting that the now state case might eventually be taken over by the feds, depending on what a thorough investigation into the duo and their collection revealed. Based on recent reports of the case, it sounds like to the feds the theft suspects will go.

According to The Baltimore Sun, the two New York defendants were indicted on federal charges yesterday, Jul. 28. For allegedly stealing the following historical documents and more, the men, ages 62 and 24, are charged with conspiracy and theft of “major art:”

  • Authentic copies of various U.S. presidential speeches
  • An authentic letter written by Benjamin Franklin
  • Land grant from Abraham Lincoln

As of yesterday, the theft defendants were in custody at a Maryland facility, but they were supposed to have been picked up by federal authorities this morning.

Authorities and others passionate about preserving American history are taking the suspects’ alleged actions very seriously. Museums who have records that either of the men visited the facilities are reportedly verifying that none of their historical documents or artifacts are missing.

The duo is accused of not only stealing various notable and valuable historical artifacts but selling them for profit. Whom the pieces were sold to is currently either unknown or undisclosed. We will post an update to this case when more information becomes available.


The Baltimore Sun (Blog): “Alleged document thieves indicted on federal charges,” Tricia Bishop, 28 Jul. 2011

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