Police investigating the case linked the stolen books to the man who died in an explosion at his apartment on Surbrunnsgatan, two weeks before Christmas. An autopsy revealed that the man died from carbon dioxide poisoning, leading police to believe he committed suicide.
Prior to his death the deceased was suspected of stealing rare books from both Stockholm University Library and the National Library.
The man, previously employed at the National Library, came under suspicion when three books from the library’s rare books collection were found in his office. Two of these books, according to DN, were believed to have had their catalogue number removed.
It is thought the man had been working with one or more accomplices to steal books from the National Library as well as Uppsala and Stockholm University libraries.
After the man’s death, reported DN, police shifted their investigation into retrieving the stolen books. Four of the books were traced by police to a German auction house, although the university stamp had been removed.
Police have also ensured that five scientific texts from the sixteenth and seventeenth century have been returned to Stockholm University. Access to the books is limited to a few key personnel.
Even researchers are being denied admittance to inspect the books in their nuclear-bomb-proof storage room.
An unnamed source closely involved in the case told Dagens Nyheter that the books are in good condition although some minor damage has occurred “in connection with someone trying to remove the university stamp”.