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Chicago book dealer has van full of rare books stolen in California

Lawrence Van De Carr, owner of Booklegger's Books in Chicago, was attending book fairs in California when his van, filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars of books, was stolen. | Google Streetview image

OAKLAND, Calif. — A rare books dealer from Chicago says his van filled with valuable titles was stolen while he was visiting the Bay Area.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Lawrence Van De Carr says his van was taken last Monday or Tuesday while parked outside a friend’s Oakland home. Van De Carr owns Booklegger’s Books in Chicago and was in town to attend book fairs.

He says the van held 400 books worth more than $350,000, many by Faulkner, Hemingway and other famous authors. He reported the theft to a network of book dealers, asking them to keep an eye out for the novels.

Van De Carr says one man was arrested after trying to sell to Moe’s Books in Berkley, but his apparent accomplice ran away.

Police have not found the van.