Book Detailing Transy Heist Goes On Sale Tuesday

Posted at 9:13 AM, Jun 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-13 09:13:03-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) -One of the four men who participated in the failed book heist at Transylvania University has written a book.

Chas Allen, who spent seven years in prison for his role in the crime, has penned a memoir of the event. The book entitled "Evolution: Becoming a Criminal" goes on sale next Tuesday.

The 2004 book heist, in which four students stole a rare book by artist James Audubon, is also the subject of the 2018 film "American Animals."  

At 19 and 20 years old Warren Lipka, Chas Allen, Eric Borsuk and Spencer Reinhard stunned, blindfolded and tied up a librarian to steal the item.  Allen served as the getaway driver.

A person claiming to be Allen posted to a Reddit forum to promote the book. 

" Hello! My name is Chas Allen and I’m an author, public speaker, entrepreneur and life coach, but most famously I’m known for my role in the Transylvania Book Heist. When I was 19, myself and three others attempted to steal first edition books and paintings valued at over twelve million dollars, from the Transylvania University library. Among the items stolen were John James Audubon’s “Birds of American Collection” and Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.” We were eventually caught and were sentenced to seven years in federal prison. In jail, I found myself at rock bottom and made the choice to turn my life around. In my new book “Evolution: Becoming a Criminal” I depict how my upbringing and personal struggles led me to my involvement in the criminal act, and the growth and development that transpired once heading to prison and being released," he wrote. 

‘Ameican Animals’ was released on June 1.