OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) - Thieves looking to make some quick cash on the Internet have looted historic marriage and deed books at a western Kentucky county courthouse.
They're looking for valuable stamps they can sell.
The vandalized books - kept in the basement of the Daviess County Courthouse - contain records dating back to the early 1800s.
Daviess County Clerk David Osborne says officials want people to have access to their family history. But, Osborne says, the state archivist has told local officials there should be a deputy present whenever someone comes in to use the books.
Some of the stamps date back to the Civil War, when the federal government needed money to cover the war's cost. The stamps were
required on marriage licenses and other documents.
Scavengers have cut hundreds of stamps out of books from the 1860s. Some books are damaged on nearly every page.
Tampering with public records is a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in jail.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)