LA Library thieves: not as sad as first thought

One of The Blogs from the LA Times picks up on the crime rate story from yesterday.

The news of the thefts is sad — nobody's stuff should be stolen, and nobody should be desperate enough to steal purses from empty library carrels — but it's not as sad as I thought when I first read the headline. Because my initial fear was that people were going to the library to steal books. Now that would really be bad news.


Ummm, betcha books are being stolen. I mean, do you think the library files a police report everytime a book goes missing? How often do they do inventory? Indeed, what, if any statistics are available?

One thing in their favor is that many of the thefts are probably crimes of opportunity, so those people who do that are unlikely to probably steal books....unless they like books or they can sell them somewhere for a good price.

But the fact that the security is weak enough that such thefts of opportunity can happen seems to mean it's likely that for a motivated enough individual they'd be able to walk away with valuable parts of the collection.

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