Collinsville police released the identity Friday of the man they believe stole a 1927 presentation copy of “Mein Kampf” from the Collinsville Historical Museum.
Robert Charles LeCompte, 30, of Collinsville is facing charges of burglary and theft after he allegedly walked out of the Collinsville Historical Museum on Feb. 21 with the book in hand, according to a release from Major Rich Wittenauer.
LeCompte is being held on a $60,000 bail.
Wittenauer’s release stated LeCompte admitted to taking the book and returning it after his arrest — he said only “that he was fascinated by it and that he did not want to discuss it further.”
This particular copy of the “Mein Kampf” could be worth up to $10,000, according to Wittenauer. The low end of the book’s value is about $3,000.
Investigators requested the public’s assistance in identifying and locating LeCompte who could be seen on video taking the book on Feb. 21.
The theft was discovered by museum staff on April 4.
When they posted surveillance photos of the suspect, Wittenauer told the BND the agency received a flood of tips regarding his identity.
Friday’s release stated officers recognized an acquaintance of LeCompte — whom they had already talked to regarding the theft case — pull into a gas station at 8407 Collinsville Rd. They found LeCompte lying on the floor in the back passenger area of the vehicle.
He was arrested without incident.
The same day Collinsville police announced they had identified a suspect, LeCompte returned the book to the museum.
This copy of “Mein Kampf” was donated by Collinsville resident and WWII Intelligence Officer Irving Dilliard.
Dillard brought the book back from Europe after WWII as a souvenir. His family donated the book after Dillard died.
“Museum officials stated that they are not going to display the book in the near future and are considering to permanently remove the book from public viewing,” the release stated.