VALDOSTA -- Crime victims experience many feelings, but E.L. "Boe" Williams feels thankful now that some of his stolen books have been returned.
"I'm just glad to have back as many of my books as I do," he said a few days after officers found his trailer and some of his books at a residence off Stock Pen Road.
Last Tuesday, Williams arrived at his business, Country Cobbler, off of Gornto Road to discover the trailer with his recently published family genealogy books gone. It wasn't enough that 512 copies of "Andrew Elton Williams: Ancestors, Contemporaries, Descendants and Allied Families" had been taken, but he and his books were supposed to be the highlight of the annual Williams Family Reunion that weekend.
In an effort to get his books returned for the Friday night reception and book signing, Williams offered a $1,000 reward for any information, but none came. Williams arrived in Jackson County, Fla., with one case of books.
"The reception went really good," Williams said.
"I had a couple of the books, but I could have sold a lot of them."
Williams took orders, and the 213 books that were found undamaged will almost meet the orders he took. He did not expect his 1,300-page book to be in its second printing so soon.
"I have 213 books that can be sold, but I do plan to have the book reprinted," he said. "I don't think I have enough to supply the orders I took."
The once white Roadforce trailer is now what has been described as an interesting shade of red. Of the 512 books, 180 are missing and the other 119 were damaged. The missing ones appear to have been burned.
"The fact they destroyed the books tells you a lot about their character," he said.
Lt. Brian Childress, public information officer, Valdosta Police Department said an anonymous tip led to the recovery of the trailer and books.
He said the VPD and the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office served a warrant on the residence at about 8 p.m. Monday.
"We have a suspect, and initial charges are theft by taking from us and possibly more charges by the LCSO," Childress said.
Williams said he is grateful for the efforts of law enforcement in the recovery of his books and trailer.
To contact Tanya B. O'Berry, call 244-3400, ext. 239
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