Monday, February 11, 2008

Other Voices----Civil War Cavalry Blogger Unknowingly Buys Stolen Paper

From the weblog Hoofbeats and Cold Steel, David Petruzzi reports:

I posted recently about the current case involving Daniel Lorello and his theft of items from the New York State Library, some of which he’s sold on eBay over the past few years. There’s been a good deal of it on the media, and I felt pretty disconnected from the whole thing until I opened my mail this morning.

In it was a letter from the Attorney General’s Office of the State of New York. What the heck could I be getting from them? I thought. Once I got my hands to stop trembling… I opened it. In it was a letter from the Deputy Bureau Chief. After an opening paragraph that described the Lorello case and his eBay sales of some items, the letter continued:

“An analysis of eBay records shows that on January 5, 2006, you purchased an item from Mr. Lorello for which you posted a positive feedback on the eBay internet web site. Please notify me by letter… with a description of the item.”

The letter goes on, instructing me to look at the item for State of New York markings, etc. and to scan and photograph it.

Once visions of becoming a ward of the Empire State, donning one of those funky orange jumpsuits, and being some huge fella’s girlfriend passed from my mind, I took a moment to try to think of what the heck I might have bought from Lorello. To my knowledge, the only items I bought from anyone on eBay in about the last 4 years were an engraving of Gen. George Stoneman, and an official document signed by him. I believe that it’s the latter that probably came from Lorello. The document is currently custom framed and hanging on a wall in my library, along with other autographed documents of Civil War cavalry figures (none of them purchased from eBay). Looks like this one, however, will have to be packed up and eventually sent back to New York.

So, after thinking I have no reason to think I’d have any involvement in this case, it came home for sure. Regardless, I am working with the AG’s office (we’ve already had two-way contact today) and they will certainly be getting this document back in order to get it where it rightfully belongs.

Well, the wife tells me that there are flashing lights at the house, sirens going off all over, and fellas in ATF jackets with sunglasses are putting up that yellow ribbon across my library. Pictures of everything on the walls are being snapped, stuff is being dusted for fingerprints, and some guy with a clipboard is apparently asking exactly when I will be home from the office.

Source: posting on February 6, 2008

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