Rare first edition Harry Potter worth £40,000 stolen

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (not pictured) was taken

A hardback first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone worth about £40,000 was one of a number of rare books stolen during a burglary.

The book, J.K Rowling's maiden novel of the globally successful series, was stolen from SN Books in Thetford, Norfolk, between 8 and 9 January.

A 1937 first edition of The Hobbit and a set of four first editions of Winnie the Pooh were among 12 books taken.

Norfolk Police said the books are "not the sort of thing you see every day".

The Harry Potter book was made even more "unique" by being in a custom red box, the force added.

Image caption,
A first edition of The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkein was taken

Police said the premises in Napier Place was broken into by two males between 23:50 GMT on 8 January and 01:30 on 9 January.

Josh Laffar, from the second-hand book booksellers SN Books, said the men spent about half an hour in the property.

A hardback signed first edition of Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett, worth around £9,000, and a 1925 first impression of The Great Gatsby in a dark blue custom case were also stolen.

A paperback copy of Brief History of Time from 1983 with a thumbprint signature by its author Professor Stephen Hawking, two first editions of the Gunslinger by Stephen King worth around £2,000 each and an early 1800s sketchbook by an unknown artist make up the stolen goods.

Image caption,
The books were stored at SN Books in Thetford

Mr Lassar added: "These books were a company asset which were going to go towards the staff to do with pay rises and increasing morale.

"Now these have been taken unfortunately none of these things can happen."

PC Gideon Weigelt-Holmes from Norfolk Police, said: "I am urging people, especially book dealers or those working in specialist book shops, to be vigilant in case they are offered for sale."

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