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2 Rare Books Worth $20K Stolen From Bookshop by Thief in Red Pants: NYPD

By Shaye Weaver | September 12, 2016 4:25pm
 Police say this man stole two rare books valued at $20,000 from PRPH Books on April 16.
Police say this man stole two rare books valued at $20,000 from PRPH Books on April 16.
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UPPER EAST SIDE — Police are hunting a thief who swiped two antique books worth $20,000 from a shop, according to the NYPD.

A bald man wearing red pants and a button-down shirt walked into PRPH Books, a store at 26 E. 64th St. that specializes in manuscripts and first editions, and took the two books off a display shelf in the corner of the gallery at about 3 p.m. on April 16, police said.

One book, titled Tibertide Chyromantion Hainz, was worth $4,900. The second book, Champer Duelluh Lyon, is worth $15,509, according to authorities.

He stashed the books inside a soft briefcase before walking out of the store.

Surveillance photos show the man walking out of the building's elevator, talking on his cellphone.

Employees of PRPH declined to comment on Monday, saying that the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers has put out a warning to other booksellers with the titles and that was sufficient.

PRPH Books, founded by book collectors Umberto Pregliasco and Filippo Rotundo, opened in October 2013 and offers a slew of rare manuscripts, early printings, modern first editions, illustrated books and engravings.

The shop had just opened a Dante Alighieri exhibit a week before the incident, according to its website.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Neil Ariano at the 19th precinct at 212-452-0635.