Accused Antique Maps Thief Tipped To Plead Guilty
E. Forbes Smiley, III, the antique maps dealer accused last year by state and federal authorities of stealing extremely valuable maps from Yale University’s Beineke Library, is due to appear in court on June 22, and is expected to plead guilty, according to an article in the Hartford Courant.
According to the article, sources close to the case indicate that Smiley may plead guilty to several more thefts, in addition to the spectacular heist from the Beinecke. Other institutions that have confirmed antique map losses following visits by Smiley include the British Library, Chicago’s Newberry Library, and the Boston Public Library.
It is just about one year since Smiley was arrested in New Haven, following an alert by Beinecke librarians that Smiley appeared to have been leafing through valuable rare books and atlases while in possession of a razor blade, used to cut maps from the books. Maps were later discovered in Smiley’s coat pockets and briefcase. The theft set off a furor in the antique maps world, as institutions admitted that such thefts were not uncommon in their holdings.