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Bookfest's bungling burglers

ILLITERATE thieves have walked past almost $3000 worth of rare books to steal $50 of soft drink after a break-in at Coffs Harbour Showground on Monday night.

The books, including a History of WWI valued at $1800, were on display in the exhibition hall as part of Bookfest, Rotary's massive second-hand book sale.

But the thieves were more interested in what was in the kitchen, rather than what was on the shelves.

Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour South secretary, Peter Rheinberger, said it appeared the latch on the back door of the exhibition hall was broken.

"They've gone to the kitchen and taken a carton of beer and a couple of cartons of soft drinks, everything in the fridge but the water," Peter said.

"Even our big can of coffee, if you can believe it."

Peter said most of the stolen items were for the BBQ run as part of Bookfest on the weekend, which will cost about $50 to replace.

"We're just glad they didn't take any of the speciality books we've got titles worth $500, $600."

He said they were unsure if any other books were stolen, due to the volume of titles still for sale at Bookfest is in the thousands.

"It's just a shame they didn't take any of the Reader's Digest books," Peter said.

"We've got hundreds of them."

Bookfest runs until Saturday.


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