A rare Harry Potter prequel personally penned by author J.K. Rowling has been stolen—and police say it could fetch a hefty sum on the black market.
The manuscript that was stolen is truly one-of-a-kind, having been written on the back of a postcard for a charity event in 2008. As part of the auction, the 800-word story sold for a whopping $32,000; later that year, 10,000 books containing the story were made, which sold out almost immediately.
Rowling Tweeted about the theft on Friday, urging fans to aide in the story’s return.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 12, 2017
“The only people who will buy this unique piece are true Harry Potter fans,” said investigating officer Paul Jauncey. “We are appealing to anyone who sees, or is offered this item for sale, to contact police.”
The thieves who swiped the rare manuscript may not even be aware of its value. According to investment banker Hira Digpal, who purchased the short story at the charity auction, jewelry and other valuables were stolen in the burglary, suggesting the thieves were simply after a quick cash grab.
Police are asking anyone with information about the stolen manuscript to speak up.
The prequel is set shortly before the birth of Harry Potter, and focuses on his father and godfather, Sirius Black, as the two encounter Muggle police officers. Naturally, the two escape on broomsticks, which is the most chic way to travel in the Harry Potter universe.