- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 20, 2020

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - A former employee of the University of Illinois was sentenced to two years of probation for stealing rare musical books from the school’s music library.

Thomas McGeary, 71, of Champaign pleaded guilty before Champaign County Circuit Judge Heidi Ladd to the theft of two rare books worth more than $500. Assistant State’s Attorney Alex Boyd told Ladd that McGeary, who worked in the music library, stole the books for money and was seeking revenge against the university because he believed it wronged him.

University police say the theft of “Le Quattro Stagioni” by Haydn, and “25 Oratorio Libretti” came to light in June 2019. A vendor approached a staff member at the university’s main library to sell “Le Quattro Stagioni” to the university. However, university staffs noticed it had the same markings as a copy of the book that had gone missing in 2016.

Under Tuesday’s sentencing, the 71-year-old McGeary must complete 30 hours of public service and can avoid a conviction if he completes probation without additional criminal activity.

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