Man charged with stealing ‘Mein Kampf’ from Collinsville museum

Robert LeCompte

COLLINSVILLE, IL (KPLR) – The Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office charged a 30-year-old Collinsville man for allegedly stealing a 90-year-old copy of ‘Mein Kampf’ from the Collinsville Historical Museum.

According to Major Rich Wittenauer, a spokesman for the Collinsville Police Department, the theft took place February 21.

‘Mein Kampf’ is the autobiography of former German Chancellor and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

The book, described as a special edition copy given to Nazi Party leaders, was printed in Munich, Germany in 1927. It was recovered by Irving Dilliard, a Collinsville resident and World War II Intelligence Officer, who brought the book back to America as a souvenir. Dilliard’s family later donated the book and other items to the museum.

Investigators eventually identified a suspect as Robert LeCompte.

On Thursday, April 20, police recognized a vehicle belonging to an acquaintance of LeCompte pulling into a gas station. Officers went to speak with the acquaintance when they noticed LeCompte lying on the floor in the back of the vehicle.

LeCompte was taken into custody without further incident, Wittenauer said. LeCompte admitted to taking the book and returning it.

Prosecutors charged LeCompte with one count of burglary and one count of theft over $500. LeCompte was jailed on $60,000 bond.

Museum officials said the book, estimated to be worth $3,000, will no longer be displayed to the public.