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Man Charged With Theft and Concealment of Four Valuable Books
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- Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 04:50:25 +0000
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Local Man Charged With Theft and Concealment of Four Valuable Books
Stolen in November, 1996 From Adams National Historic Site in Quincy
Wednesday, March 25 1:28 PM ET
BOSTON (BUSINESS WIRE) - United States Attorney Donald K. Stern;
Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Barry W. Mawn;
and Quincy Police Chief Thomas Frane announced today that KEVIN P.
GILDEA, 42, who last resided in Quincy, Massachusetts, has been
charged by a federal grand jury in a four-count indictment with the
theft and subsequent concealment of "objects of cultural heritage"
(Counts One and Two) and with theft and subsequent concealment of
government property (Counts Three and Four). The stolen books were
returned today to the Adams National Historic Site by U.S. Attorney
Stern and Special Agent In Charge Mawn. U.S. Attorney Stern stated,
"This was not simply a theft of priceless books. It resulted in a
piece of this nation's history being ripped out of Quincy. John Quincy
Adams would have been pleased with the professionalism and dedication
of the FBI, the Quincy Police Department and the U.S. Park Service in
cracking this case."
Special Agent In Charge Mawn stated, "The safe recovery of these
priceless historical artifacts has been a top priority of my office
since the theft occurred in November 1996. The indictment announced
today is a fitting tribute to the dedication and perserverance of the
investigators and the unwavering cooperation shown by all agencies
The charges relate to four priceless books that were taken on November
11, 1996, during a break-in at the Stone Library on the grounds of the
Adams National Historic Site at 135 Adams Street in Quincy. All were
part of John Quincy Adams' personal book collection and are further
described as follows:
(1) an English bible published in 1838 in the United States, which was
given to John Quincy Adams by a group of Mendi tribesmen from what is
now Sierra Leone, West Africa in commemoration of Adams'
representation of the tribesmen before the U.S. Supreme Court in a
case relating to their mutiny while aboard the slave ship Amistad (an
episode that is now the subject of Steven Spielberg's movie
(2) an English bible published in 1772 in England, which had belonged
to John Quincy Adams' wife;
(3) a Latin bible, published in Germany 1521, which was the oldest
book in John Quincy Adams' collection; and
(4) a book of hand-painted illustrations of fish, published in Germany
in 1785 and printed in French.
"The National Park Service celebrates across the country the safe
return of these American treasures to the Adams National Historic Site
and congratulates the U.S. Attorney's Office on today's indictment,"
said Park Service Superintendent Marianne Peak.
She added, "We applaud the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S.
Attorney's Office, the City of Quincy Police Department Detectives and
the U.S. Park Police for their concerted effort, professionalism and
collaboration in resolving this complex case."
If convicted, GILDEA faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment
and a fine of $250,000 for each charged offense. Although he was at
liberty at the time of the theft of the books in November, 1996,
GILDEA is currently serving a five-year term of imprisonment. That
sentence was imposed in March, 1997, for violation of the terms of his
probation in connection with an unrelated federal case.
The investigation leading to the indictment was conducted by the
Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Quincy Police Department,
working in conjunction with National Parks Service employees at the
Adams National Historic Site. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant
U.S. Attorney James F. Lang, of Stern's Major Crimes Unit.
Contact: U.S. Attorney's Office Amy Rindskopf, 617/223-9445
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