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He is now expected to receive five years in prison when his sentence is announced in September. His guilty pleas at the Federal and state court in New Haven, Connecticut on June 22 revealed that the extent of his crimes was greater than previously thought. Over a seven-and-a-half-year period he stole maps from seven universities and libraries.

According to the accounts produced by the Federal prosecution, the New York Public Library lost 32 maps to Mr Smiley; Boston Public Library lost 34; the Houghton Library at Harvard University lost eight, and the British Library in London lost one.

However, the British Library is pursuing charges for three additional missing maps.

Smiley was caught when he tried to leave Yale University's Beinecke Library with five rare maps in his briefcase just over a year ago. He was captured on a video surveillance system cutting the maps from rare atlases.