Bookseller Stands Trial for Theft of First Edition Harry Potter worth $2,000

Mamma Mia! This Italian bookseller really screwed up, and the UK courts are not having it. You’d be merciless too if someone stole a first edition Harry Potter book along with many other rare classics.   Rudolph Schonegger, a fifty-five-year-old Italian bookseller, has gone to trial over his alleged theft of a rare Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire edition worth $2,000! The seller of old and rare books denies being the man caught on camera taking the book off the shelf at Hatchards in Piccadilly on New Year’s Eve. In the fantasy novel’s place was Last Call by Angus Wilson. …

Book Culture
Harry Potter library

Mamma Mia! This Italian bookseller really screwed up, and the UK courts are not having it. You’d be merciless too if someone stole a first edition Harry Potter book along with many other rare classics.

 

Rudolph Schonegger, a fifty-five-year-old Italian bookseller, has gone to trial over his alleged theft of a rare Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire edition worth $2,000! The seller of old and rare books denies being the man caught on camera taking the book off the shelf at Hatchards in Piccadilly on New Year’s Eve. In the fantasy novel’s place was Last Call by Angus Wilson. Real similar.

 

Image Via The Guardian

Image Via The Guardian

 

Helen Mills spoke out in court to the magistrates of what happened the moments before the book was stolen.

 

I went to the till on the ground floor and started serving customers. A colleague passed by in a quieter moment when the queue had gone down and said, ‘Oh, have you sold the Harry Potter?’ We had a first edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on sale for £1,675, all the staff knew about it – it would have been a big thing for us to have sold it… It is rare for it to be signed by JK Rowling because she doesn’t sign too many… She added: “I turned around because we kept it behind the till and it wasn’t there and where it had been was another book by Angus Wilson called Late Call.

 

Schonegger has repeatedly denied stealing other books as well as reselling them. Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea for $900 and William Golding’s Pincher Martin worth $200 have both gone missing within the month of December not long before the Goblet of Fire disappeared. 

 

The court has called more witnesses to the stand, including a past buyer of Schonegger’s books. However, the first Potter edition still has yet to be recovered and the trial continues.

 

Featured Image Via Warner Bros