First-Edition Book of Mormon Stolen From Mesa Store Recovered in Washington, D.C.; Jay Linford Pegged as Book's Thief
It took help from the U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI, but a first-edition Book of Mormon stolen from a Mesa bookstore has been located in Washington, D.C.
The theft of the book did not make the Mormon community happy, as folks used to stop by Mesa's Rare and Out of Print Books and Art store quite often to take a look at the one-in-5,000 book printed in 1830.
Mesa police say Jay Linford is the guy who stole the book from the store in late May.
Police say Linford was arrested in a Washington, D.C., apartment after the Marshals Service and FBI served search warrants, where authorities believe they recovered the same Book of Mormon stolen from the Mesa shop.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Miami Marlins
TicketsFri., Sep. 22, 6:40pm
Arizona Cardinals Game Zone - 9/25 - Not A Game Ticket
TicketsMon., Sep. 25, 2:15pm
Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys
TicketsMon., Sep. 25, 5:30pm
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Francisco Giants
TicketsMon., Sep. 25, 6:40pm
WWE Smackdown Live
TicketsTue., Sep. 26, 4:45pm
The book's valued between $30,000 and $40,000.
A Mesa police spokesman says the owner of the Mesa store knows Linford, and Linford was in the store when the book was stolen.
Linford is currently in custody on a $40,000 bond, and he was required to give up any passports.
Mesa police don't yet have a mugshot for Linford, and a police spokesman says it's unclear how long the extradition process is going to take.
According to media accounts printed shortly after the theft of the book, storeowner Helen Schlie said she'd been selling individual pages from the book for a few years, fetching between $2,500 and $4,000 a page.
As the story goes within the Latter-day Saint communities, Joseph Smith found gold plates engraved with prophecies and revelations from as far back as 2200 B.C.
Smith found these plates in western New York, and a resurrected being called Moroni showed up to help Smith get these foreign characters into English.
In 1830, three years after finding the plates, Smith got his translation of the plates printed into some books, one of which being the one stolen out of Mesa.
We'll get the rest of the details on Linford's arrest if available, and report back.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.