"Thieves break through and steal" at the Methodist Archives
The university became suspicious, according to an account provided by prosecutors, after an antiques dealer in England alerted officials in its library that he had been approached by someone offering to sell him original letters from the Wesleys. Ten of the letters arrived on March 3, via FedEx, according to the complaint, with two suffering some damage in transit.
Prosecutors said the unprofessional way the valuable documents were shipped did not sit well with the dealer, who then consulted Drew officials, given their expertise and collection of Wesleyana.
After a quick search of its archives, the university estimated that 21 to 23 of its Wesley letters appeared to be missing and contacted the F.B.I. The missing lot included a valuable letter, worth more than $5,000, from John Wesley to a friend and supporter, George Merryweather, dated Dec. 20, 1766. ...
University officials had not been aware that the presidential letters were missing until the search of the dorm room. But they were optimistic on Monday that they would ultimately recover any lost items. “For Methodists, these are treasures and so we’re hoping to get them back,” said Christopher Anderson, the Methodist librarian at Drew.