MESA, AZ — A collection of rare books worth over $16,000 was stolen from a Mesa home on Monday.
According to court records, Jeffrey William Grande, 60, stole four first edition books, including 'Time Machine' by H.G. Wells, 'David Copperfield' by Charles Dickens, 'Tom Sawyer' by Mark Twain, and 'Catcher in the rye' by J.D. Salinger.
Police say the thefts occurred on various occasions between May 2018 and May 2019.
When the victim noticed the books were missing, he contacted a rare bookstore in Scottsdale who reportedly told him all the books were sold to them by Grande, who was an acquaintance of his. The bookstore paid Grande $16,500 for the books, not knowing they were stolen.
The bookstore provided police with surveillance video and copies of the checks they gave to Grande.
Upon his arrest, Grande allegedly told police that he took the books to get money to pay bills since he was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and claims he was given a year to live.
The Maricopa County Attorney's Office charged Grande with the theft of several rare books.
He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on January 13.