Savedoff was observed from a balcony taking a document and concealing it in a portfolio, then walking out of the library, according to police. After being confronted, Savedoff complained of stomach pains and claimed to have misplaced a locker key that he had shown officers moments earlier.

Police retrieved the key, and the documents were found inside the locker concealed in a black laptop case. Police summoned the FBI to the scene, which made copies of the documents for evidence and returned them to the Historical Society.

Landau and Savedoff are charged with one count of theft over $100,000, but the investigation is continuing. Attempts to reach attorneys for Landau and Savedoff were unsuccessful, and little was known about Savedoff.

Landau's website says he is at work on his second book, and boasts of his connections and media appearances. The Washington Post profiled him in 2005, and quoted the actors William Baldwin and Brian Dennehy, the latter of whom said Landau was his bridge to the White House.

Photo albums on his website show Landau with Al Pacino, posing with Gerald R. Ford and the actress Shelley Winters; with his arm around Barbara Bush, and standing next to Charlton Heston and near Frank Sinatra at the inauguration of President George H.W. Bush.

In various media interviews, the former press agent said his collection came from items obtained directly from politicians and their staff but also by watching for items at flea markets and auctions. The collection includes more than a million presidential items and artifacts -- including 26,000 presidential menus and invitations and the original key to the White House, which he said he spotted at a flea market in Long Island, N.Y.

He told the Post in 2005 that Laura Bush had consulted him about possible themes for President George W. Bush's inauguration. When the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies needed plates for the inaugural luncheon, the newspaper reported, it turned to Landau for his collection of china used at Thomas Jefferson's inauguration in 1801.

Landau has also "known about 25 White House dogs since the Eisenhower administration," and his apartment is filled with presidential dog memorabilia including matching orange inaugural dog coats worn by Lyndon B. Johnson's twin beagles, Him and Her, and a photo of Landau kissing Clipper, Kennedy's German shepherd, the Associated Press reported in 2009.

A preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for Aug. 11.

justin.fenton@baltsun.com


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