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100 rare books stolen from Portland bookshop, suspect at large: ‘It makes me distrustful’

Updated: Jan. 14, 2020 at 4:09 PM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - A Portland bookshop owner is asking for help after someone broke in and got away with thousands of dollars in rare titles.

It happened at Passages Bookshop on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and was discovered on the morning of Jan 2.

Owner David Abel tells FOX 12 he arrived at the store to find glass everywhere.

He says the thief pried open the lock on the front door, then smashed three glass cases in the shop and got into a number of others that weren’t locked.

100 rare books stolen from Portland bookshop, suspect at large: 'It makes me distrustful'
100 rare books stolen from Portland bookshop, suspect at large: 'It makes me distrustful'(KPTV)

In the end, roughly 100 books, including early 19th century titles, rare art books, first editions, and signed and inscribed titles, were stolen.

“It does seem strange because it won’t be easy to sell them,” Abel said. “And maybe they, whoever stole the books, didn’t realize it would be difficult.”

Abel says the books are worth several thousand dollars, but he’s already notified other local bookshops and buyers so they can be on the lookout in case something suspicious is brought in.

In the meantime, his shop has been closed for the last two weeks so he can clean up the damage and make inventory lists for his insurance company.

He plans to reopen on Thursday.

“The thing that bothers me the most is that it makes me distrustful, it makes me suspicious, and I really resent that,” Abel said.

Abel has compiled a list of the stolen works on the Passages Bookshop website. If you come across something you think could be connected to this case, let Portland Police know.