MESA, Ariz. – A Texas book dealer has helped authorities recover a rare first-edition copy of the Book of Mormon stolen from a suburban Phoenix bookstore.
Mesa police said Wednesday that the unnamed dealer from the Dallas-Fort Worth area allegedly was contacted by Jay Linford about buying some pages of the book May 28. That’s the same day the book was reported stolen from a Mesa store.
The dealer says he paid $7,500 for two pages, but later learned about the theft and contacted police. Federal authorities found the 48-year-old Linford at a friend’s apartment in Virginia on Tuesday and recovered the book, which is valued at about $40,000. The edition is one of 5,000 printed in 1830.
Mesa police say Linford is being held at a detention facility in Fairfax, Va., pending extradition to Arizona. It wasn’t immediately known if he had an attorney.