News Article

Disorder of 'The Phoenix'

''Harry Potter'' theft suspects are arrested. Police nab four after advance ''Order of the Phoenix'' volumes turn up in a field

There is still a chamber of secrets surrounding the apparent theft of ''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'' advance copies, but police in Suffolk, England, have arrested four suspects, Reuters reports. Suffolk Police said Wednesday that they were holding two men, ages 44 and 18, and two 16-year-old boys for questioning in the matter of the two unbound copies of the long-awaited book that appeared in a field in the town of Bungay, where a printworks is churning out hundreds of thousands of copies of the novel for publication on June 21.

It's still a mystery how the Potter manuscript, one of the publishing world's most closely guarded secrets turned up in a field in southeastern England earlier this week. The Sun newspaper reported that a man stumbled upon the discarded books while taking a walk, and the paper said that an unidentified man called and offered the first three chapters for publication for a ransom of £25,000. Neither Bloomsbury (Potter author J.K. Rowling's publisher) nor Clays Ltd. (the printer) has commented on the arrests.

Originally posted May 08, 2003