West Midlands police said Friday that it was stolen, along with some jewelry, during a burglary in Birmingham, central England between April 13 and 24.
Rowling is pleading with her followers not to buy the handwritten prequel. She took to Twitter on Friday to send out an open call.
“PLEASE DON’T BUY THIS IF YOU’RE OFFERED IT,” Rowling tweeted. “Originally auctioned for @englishpen, the owner supported writers’ freedoms by bidding for it.”
Rowling wrote the 800-word story for a 2008 charity auction, where it sold for £25,000 (C$44,000). The handwritten, highly valuable piece exists on the front and back of a 6-by-8-inch postcard.
Investigating officer Paul Jauncey has appealed to any Potter fans who see the story or are offered it for sale to contact police.
“The only people who will buy this unique piece are true Harry Potter fans. We are appealing to anyone who sees, or is offered this item for sale, to contact police,” Jauncey said.
Set three years before “Harry Potter” was born, the story tells how the wizard’s father “James Potter” and godfather “Sirius Black” get into trouble with a policeman before escaping with broomsticks, drumsticks and a little bit of magic.
West Midland law enforcement officials are asking anyone who knows the whereabouts of the story to contact them.
—With files from The Associated Press