- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

EAST BROOKFIELD, Mass. (AP) - A Leicester man charged with stealing rare books worth more than $100,000 from Becker College - including an original copy of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and a book signed by Abraham Lincoln - has been sentenced to probation and ordered to pay restitution.

Joseph Heath pleaded to sufficient facts for a guilty finding Monday to charges of receiving stolen property and larceny.

The Telegram & Gazette (https://bit.ly/1mS443f ) reports that he was put on probation for three years and ordered to pay $3,000 restitution.

The 53-year-old Heath was a janitor at the library when the books went missing in 2012. Prosecutors say he sold some to book dealers and others on Craigslist. Many have been recovered.

Heath told police the librarian often gave him books and told him to “take whatever you wanted.”

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Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), https://www.telegram.com

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