Police: Thief broke into used bookstore for valuable books

Local News

In the world of e-books, picking up a printed copy isn’t the preference of many readers anymore.  

But that’s not the case at book barn in Pennsylvania.

The owner still collects and sells rare classics.

As Matt Petrillo reports, the store was recently hit by a caper who knows just how valuable some of those editions can be.

Fred Dannaway puts wood in a stove that sits in the middle of Baldwins Book Barn located on Lenape Road in West Chester. It’s the only working heater at the 76-year-old used book store.

“Were ready to go now.”

Now, Dannaway is hoping to put the heat on a book burglar who allegedly broke in over the weekend and stole nearly three dozen expensive books from two glass cases.

“We had some pretty interesting stuff in these cases here and some of the books were a little pricey,” said Dannaway.

Some of the stolen items include a rare edition of To Kill a Mockingbird, and a second printing of the book, Of Mice and Men.

The total value of the stolen items is estimated to be up to $10,000.

“Got in and go out,” said Dannaway. “They didn’t break in here to steal $8 and $10 books.”

West Chester Police are investigating, but wouldn’t say if they have any leads.

Still, Dannaway is pleading to whoever stole the books to do the right thing.

“Bring them back, bring them back. They’re significant things,” said Dannaway. “If we don’t sell them we’d just like to have them around. That’s what book people like to do.”

The Book Barn opened in the 1940’s, so this isn’t the first time its been targeted by thieves.

Now the owners are turning to technology to protect the past by installing security cameras.

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