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Stolen Book of Mormon 1st edition returned

Jan. 16, 2013 at 4:39 PM   |   Comments

MESA, Ariz., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- An Arizona bookstore owner said she was relieved when police returned the first-edition Book of Mormon that a friend of hers had stolen.

Helen Schlie, 89, owner of the Helen Spencer Schlie Gallery in Mesa, said the book, one of only about 200 surviving first-editions from 1830, had been in her family for 40 years when it was taken last year by Jay Michael Linford, 49, The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.

U.S. marshals arrested Linford in Virginia June 11 and the book was recovered. Some of the pages had been sold to Texas dealer Reid Moon, and they were also recovered.

Linford pleaded guilty to theft Jan. 10 and is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 12.

The book is estimated to be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

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