Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Daniel J. Witek charged with stealing documents from the Buffalo History Museum

A few days ago, federal authorities arrested Daniel Jude Witek, 50, and charged him with stealing approximately forty letters and postcards from the Buffalo History Museum's A. Conger Goodyear Papers collection and attempting to sell them to a New York City autograph dealer.  The theft came to light when the dealer contacted the Buffalo History Museum in an effort to verify that the sale was aboveboard.

Witek was a Buffalo History Museum volunteer, and the complaint against him filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York indicates that he also had ties to several Buffalo-area public libraries. He is known to have used two aliases:  Daniel Mountbatten-Witeck and Walter Payne.

Witek has been released on his own recognizance pending trial.  One of the conditions of his release is that he must not visit the Buffalo History Museum, several other Buffalo-area cultural heritage institutions, or "any public or private establishment where rare books are."

Private collectors and cultural heritage professionals who suspect that Witek may have stolen items from their collections should contact the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation at 716-856-7800.

For your convenience, here's the criminal complaint against Witek.  It's an interesting little document.

Criminal Complaint Against Daniel Jude Witek 2013-05-23 by blweddle

And here's the document outlining the conditions of Witek's pretrial release:

Daniel Jude Witek Conditions of Release 2013-05-24 by blweddle

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