I’m probably a bad person for this, but I have a certain amount of respect for thieves who are very good at what they do, and who do no physical violence to people in the process. This is very likely the result of my youthful Remington Steele fixation, but that’s somewhat beside the point. The criminal mind interests me, but only a certain type of criminal is clever enough to really garner my admiration.
The Map Thief is one of those few. I know nothing about the man beyond what’s in this article and a few others I’ve read about him in the past, but he managed to steal a lot of valuable items over years without getting caught and without hurting anyone. He became an expert in a very niche area of theft and executed his art in a very peculiar and efficient manner simply by taking advantage of extreme security weaknesses in libraries that should have been dealt with years ago.
Of course, all things must come to an end, and he did get caught, but he managed to embarrass the hell out of a lot of people (who probably deserved to be embarrassed) in the process.