Six books more than 100 years old that were stolen from UC Santa Barbara were recovered Wednesday when a man was arrested after he allegedly tried to sell them in West Hollywood.
Sgt. Mike Parker of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Ruben Fernandini, 43, went into a bookstore Tuesday and tried to sell them to the owner. The location of the bookstore was not released, at the owner's request.
As the owner perused the 2-by-3-foot books of etchings and lithographs, Parker said, he noticed that they were from the university. He then contacted a sheriff's deputy who called the university and was told that the books, each worth at least $1,000, were stolen, Parker said.
Sheriff's detectives staked out the bookstore, Parker said, and questioned Fernandini when he returned to the store early Wednesday afternoon.
Parker said that after giving detectives contradictory statements as to how he obtained the books, the West Hollywood resident was booked on suspicion of receiving stolen property.