Stolen Book of Mormon found; Friend eyed as thief -

Stolen Book of Mormon found; Friend eyed as thief

(CBS/AP) MESA, Ariz. - The man accused of stealing a rare first-edition of the Book of Mormon from a Mesa store was a trusted friend, according to the book’s owner.

Helen Schlie, the owner of Rare and Out of Print Books and Art in Mesa, told the East Valley Tribune Wednesday that Jay Linford was her publisher and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints.

Mesa police say 48-year-old Linford was arrested Tuesday after authorities recovered the book from a Washington, D.C., apartment belonging to an acquaintance of his. Police say it appears the acquaintance was not involved.

Schlie says she was saddened by Linford’s arrest. She says he was always quick to help her.

“I like publicity, but not like this,” Schlie told the Tribune. “I’ve had mixed emotions; I didn’t want it this way. Anything I wanted done, Jay would do it for me. He always was right there. We could talk about things and he could make it happen.”

Police say Linford is being held on $40,000 bond pending extradition to Arizona.

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