• Johnson man stole books, then sold them on Amazon
     | March 11,2005

    NORTHFIELD — A Johnson man was arrested for stealing hundreds of books from several college libraries and bookstores in Vermont and selling them to online bookseller Amazon.com.

    Northfield Police arrested Rory Matthews, 23, for grand larceny on Wednesday after a lengthy interview.

    According to police, Matthews admitted to entering Norwich University sometime after midnight on Feb. 16, 2005, removing a quantity of books and transporting them to his house in Johnson. Matthews told police he sold the books on the Internet to Amazon.com. Officers said they discovered more than 200 books had been sold on the Internet and that 98 books were still advertised on his Web site. Matthews admitted to taking additional books from Johnson State College, The Johnson Library and Newport and Morrisville branches of the Community College of Vermont.

    Investigation into Matthews's financial records revealed that since Jan. 31, 2005, Matthews had received $4,246.88 from the sale of books through his Amazon account. Police said Matthews agreed to turn over the remaining books, which were stored at his home in Johnson. Northfield Police contacted the Lamoille County sheriff's office, which assisted in seizing more than 120 books from the Johnson address.

    Officers were tipped off to Matthews by Norwich University security officer Ed Rearick. Northfield Police were called to Norwich University on Feb. 16 to investigate a theft of more than $2,000 in college textbooks. Rearick told police he observed a car parked in the faculty/staff parking lot at about 2:30 a.m. that did not have a parking permit. Rearick wrote out a traffic violation notice and left it on the car. When he learned later that evening of the missing books, he told police that he saw books in a car and had made a note of it to himself. Rearick turned over the copy of the traffic violation to police.

    Matthews is scheduled to appear in the Washington County District Court on April 21. Other charges are pending in Lamoille County upon the completion of the Northfield investigation.

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