MESA, Ariz., June 1 (UPI) -- A first edition of the Book of Mormon has been stolen from a Mesa, Ariz., bookstore, the owner says.
Helen Schlie, 88, owner of Rare and Out of Print Books and Art, said she kept the book in an unlocked file cabinet in her office, ABC News reported. But she employed a night watchman at the store.
The book, with an estimated value of $100,000, was gone when she came to work Monday.
"So many people know where the book was. I've never had it under glass. I've always let people touch it and hold it and take pictures with it," she said.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe the book contains the text of ancient prophesies inscribed on gold plates discovered by Joseph Smith. It was first published in 1830.
Schlie is a convert to the church, and her store is a block from Mesa's Mormon Temple. She recently began selling framed single pages from the first edition Book of Mormon for up to $4,000 each.
"Each page is capable of touching hundreds of thousands of lives," she told ABC.