Burglary by Ruse and Escalade

The Age: In a scene straight out of a Harry Potter book, a thief has been charged with "burglary by ruse and escalade" by a French court for the theft of priceless medieval volumes stolen from fortress monastery library. The monks of Mont Saint-Odile in northeast France were mystified over the theft of 1100 pricessless books stolen from the mountain monastery's locked library. Now the mystery has been solved and the thief punished. The charge? "Burglary by ruse and escalade." Stanislas Gosse, a local teacher, had discovered a map of a secret passage from the library's attic, which was reached by a daring climb up the exterior walls of the monastery. Once in the library, Gosse was free to select his books at will.

Gosse was given a suspended 18-month sentence for scaling the walls, stealing the books and making off with them on his bicycle. In addition, he will spend community service time helping the monks to catalog the books and pay a fine. Gosee is also allowed to return to the library - by the front door.

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