Adventures of a Tome Raider

A thief with a big brain and a yen for old horticultural texts

British police are looking, again, for William Simon Jacques, a Cambridge graduate with an IQ on the genius rating and a taste for rare books. Having finished a four-year prison term for stealing ancient texts worth $2 million from the British Library, Jacques disappeared while on bail after being arrested for stealing a 12-volume, $100,000 set of colour print books from the Royal Horticultural Society’s world-famous Lindley library. And he’s just one of a handful of highly intelligent, well-educated criminals who operate in the somewhat murky world of international antiquarian book traders, collectors and curators.