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[BKARTS] Fagin Who Ran Bookshop Thieving Gang Begins Chapter in Jail

Fagin Who Ran Bookshop Thieving Gang Begins Chapter in Jail

By Melvyn Howe, PA News

A modern-day Fagin who ran a shoplifting racket involving tens of
thousands of books was jailed for two-and-a-half years today.

Ronald Jordan, 61, used a 15-strong gang to carry out daily raids on
a string of leading High Street stores across south east England.

The market trader would then stack the stolen books on makeshift
tables to sell them at bargain prices to a steady stream of eager

But behind the master thief?s amateur facade lay a sophisticated
racket that had apparently lasted for years and made him a

London?s Southwark Crown Court heard that by the time police finally
caught up with him many retailers were refusing to stock certain
children and travel books they knew from bitter experience would be
stolen within the hour.

As soon as Jordan was behind bars their losses plunged dramatically.

Officers, who searched his large four-bedroom house in Finchley,
north London, were shocked to find that despite his extensive ill-
gotten gains, he lived in virtual squalor.
art from a staggering 25,000 books worth £250,000 and stacked floor
to ceiling the length of the hallway and on every stair, just about
every room was overflowing with soft toys, umbrellas and other goods
he no longer dealt in.
art from the kitchen and bathroom, living space was reduced to a tiny
area containing a single chair and a television set.

The greying 21st century equivalent of one of Dickens?s most famous
characters showed no reaction as Judge Rodney McKinnon told him:
?This was a serious conspiracy involving the theft of thousands of
travel books and children?s books.

?It is without doubt that you were at the centre of it, selling
stolen books brought to you by shoplifters in boxes and rucksacks.

?You handed over money for them and then placed them on your stalls
for sale to the public at slightly lower prices so as not to arouse

Jordan, a lifelong bachelor wearing a bottle green tracksuit,
continued to stare straight ahead as the judge added: ?There is no
doubt that the book shops concerned suffered considerable losses in
being targeted in this way at your hands.

?This was not a case of just occasionally receiving a stolen book
from shop thieves. I am quite satisfied this was an organised
operation by you.?

While it was clear Jordan had not spent the ?substantial sums he had
made on lavish living?, prison was unavoidable for his ?thoroughly
dishonest? behaviour.

Not only did he have to be punished, and the public protected from
him, but a deterrent message had to be sent out to others tempted to
follow his example.


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