UGA van, books stolen before festival in Decatur

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Director says van looks like this one- white Ford Econoline

A University of Georgia group is now trying to figure out a way to recoup funds after thieves stole their van packed with books and other materials.

The theft happened sometime between Friday and Saturday at a parking lot in downtown Decatur.

UGA Press director Lisa Bayer said a staffer parked the vehicle for the Decatur Book Festival over the weekend. But someone stole it before the group could showcase and sell books Saturday morning.

"I think we are still in shock," Bayer said. "Several of us were at the empty booth at the book festival on Saturday. We did get a lot of love and sympathy."

Bayer said the van contained hundreds of reading materials as well as banners, book stands and credit card machines, which were not activated.

"They were probably disappointed when they opened it and found UGA press books instead of laptops and flat screens. I am wondering what happened to our inventory," Bayer said.

The stolen van is a white Ford Econoline with Georgia tag GVI588D, according to Decatur Police.

Bayer said the group will host an online book sale this week to make up for some of the lost funds.

UGA Press is the largest book publisher in the state with a history of publishing scholarship, literary works and books about the region, according to the organization's website.

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