Plot To Steal Harry Potter #5 Foiled

Harry Potter
CBS
An employee of a company that is printing the new Harry Potter book and three other people have been arrested in connection with an alleged plot to steal advanced copies of eagerly awaited novel.
Donald Parfitt, 44, was charged late Thursday and released on bail with an order to appear before a magistrate later this month, according to Suffolk County police.

Parfitt was one of four people arrested late Wednesday after two copies of the fifth Harry Potter novel were found in a field near the offices of the printer in the Suffolk town of Bungay.

The Sun tabloid reported that someone walking in the field found the unbound, uncut copies of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" and gave it to the newspaper, which alerted authorities.

Separately, The Sun reported receiving a phone call from "a shifty-sounding man" offering chapters of the book for $40,000. The Sun said it rejected the offer and called police.

The Sun said it agreed to meet the caller in a supermarket parking lot in Beccles, near the printing plant in eastern England, and police arrested two teenagers after they allegedly handed over the chapters.

Parfitt's employer, Clays Ltd., is printing hundreds of thousands of copies of the Harry Potter novel, scheduled to be released on June 21. He was arrested along with an 18-year-old man and two 16-year-old boys on charges of handling stolen goods.

J. K. Rowling's four previous Potter novels have worldwide sales of more than 190 million and many readers already have ordered copies of the new book through retailers. Online and independent stores have reported strong advance sales.