Archivist Daniel Lorello was arrested this past week, charged with stealing hundreds of historic documents from the New York State Library over the last six years. Lorello sold the historic documents — some to collectors and some on eBay.
And it was eBay that led to Lorello's demise.
An amateur historian and lawyer named Joseph Romito helped crack the case after he found an 1823 letter written by John C. Calhoun for sale on eBay.
The New York State Library confirmed that the Calhoun letter was indeed missing from the vault. Romito and the Attorney General's office began bidding on the document on eBay, lest some other person buy it. The attorney general's office won the bid and found the thief, along with more than a dozen boxes of purloined documents.
"This crime is particularly repugnant because it's dealing with historic documents, which is literally stealing the history of New York, page by page," said New York's Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
Calhoun's letter is now safely back in the New York State Library.