Crimes & Criminals

Ex-Iowa library director faces felony charges over $23,000 in improper payments

The former library director in Malvern, Iowa, has been charged with ongoing criminal conduct and theft following a state investigation that found nearly $33,000 of improper and unsupported payments.

The investigation involved claims submitted by former Library Director Stacey Buick. Both charges are felonies.

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The report says original receipts indicate that instead of library supplies, software and other items, Buick bought such things as an iPod Touch and TracPhones. A window air-conditioner, coffee machine, space-saving cubes, Easter basket supplies and candy, hooded sweatshirt, graduation decorations, laundry detergent, stain remover, video games and soft drinks were other items flagged.

Full article:
http://www.omaha.com/news/crime/ex-iowa-library-director-faces-felony-charges-over-in-improp...

Librarian breaking bad - High school librarian arrested for alleged meth lab in Ohio

A high school librarian in Ohio was making meth on the side, authorities said.
Nicole Gries' luck ran out on Friday the 13th when police received an anonymous tip that there might be a meth lab in her home on Foxford Court in Lakemore.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/high-school-librarian-arrested-alleged-meth-lab-ohio-a...

Freeze! It's the Library Police

Observations from librarian/writer Roz Warren:

After 15 years of library work, this is what I’ve learned:

Most library patrons are decent, honest, honorable people who wouldn’t dream of stealing from us.

The scum who do want to steal from us will do so and can’t be stopped.

A while back, a woman applied for a library card at my library, received it, then checked out our entire astrology section and carried it off forever.

She ignored all of the polite overdue notices we emailed her. Then she ignored the many fretful mailings the library dunned her with.

Something else I’ve learned, working at the library? Dunning an unrepentant book thief is a complete waste of postage.

And, of course, she never darkened our doors again. Why would she? She had what she’d come in for.

Those astrology books were hers now.

She was an astrology buff, so maybe she was just doing what that day’s Horoscope had told her to do. “You‘re a Virgo and your moon is in Saturn? This is a good month to steal library books.”

My supervisor, who takes this kind of thing seriously, stewed about our astrology book thief for weeks. She longed to phone her up and say “Shame on you! Return our books this minute. Or else.”

But that goes against library policy, so her hands were tied.

Reprinted from Broad Street Review.

Librarian Peenalized for his Peeculiar Behavior

So much for privacy, at Florida Atlantic University anyway.

When Seth Thompson was asked why he decided to shoot videos of men urinating in bathrooms at Florida Atlantic University, he told campus police he launched his strange hobby merely to see if he could get away with it. That personal challenge — coupled with his decision to post 13 of the videos on Internet porn sites — will cost the 40-year-old Lake Worth man a year of his life.

After struggling for nearly a week to decide the appropriate punishment for the man who worked at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts at FAU’s library, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge David Crow on Thursday sentenced Thompson to 364 days in the county jail.

As about 10 friends and family members looked on, silently weeping, Thompson was immediately slapped in handcuffs and taken to jail. He mouthed words of support to his backers as he struggled to hold back tears.

Rare books stolen from Becker College Library

A British man named Joseph Heath was ordered to pay $3,000 to Becker College library after stealing 100 rare books, including one signed by Abraham Lincoln, The Telegram reports.

The 53-year-old Leicester native had smuggled around $115,000 out of the antique book collection of the library. One of the books he took was a first edition o Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

Heath, a janitor at the college, had offered the missing books or sale to private collectors, as well as posting them on Craigslist.

Heath’s book pilfering was discovered when he tried to sell books to the Leicester Historical Society, and one of the board members recognized the editions.

Huge Thefts from Girolamini Library with a Librarian in the Plot

Big story from Naples Italy via The New York Times. Here's the perp, Marino Massimo De Caro, now on trial.

It was one of the most dramatic thefts ever to hit the rare-book world, the disappearance of thousands of volumes — including centuries-old editions of Aristotle, Descartes, Galileo and Machiavelli — from the Baroque-era Girolamini Library in Naples. Now, prosecutors at a trial here are trying to show how such a wholesale violation of Western cultural patrimony could have taken place.

The very man charged with protecting these treasures, Marino Massimo De Caro, a politically connected former director of the library, is accused of being at the center of a network of middlemen, book dealers and possibly crooked conservators — all part of what prosecutors say is a sometimes corrupt market for rare books in which much is spent and few questions are asked. Apart from Mr. De Caro, 13 others are charged, including a priest.

Some interesting backstory on the theft here and and here from the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

A Sly Cutter in Oak Grove

Someone is cutting random pages out of books at the Oak Lodge Library in Oak Grove, OR.

Clackamas County deputies say the vandal has targeted 122 books so far, costing taxpayers more than $2,700.
Over the past few weeks, library employees noticed pages had been torn and/or cut out of numerous books, mainly from the mystery and science fiction collections, deputies said.

Library employees conducted an internal investigation by viewing who had been checking out the vandalized books. They believe the damage was done while the books were still in the library, deputies said. Only the center pages are being ripped or torn out.

The mystery and science fiction books are in an area that is far away from the main desk and more difficult to monitor by staff.

Anyone with information concerning this crime is encouraged to contact the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office's confidential tip line by telephone at 503-723-4949.

Library Theft Items Need Identification

The FBI has posted images of 57 rare books and maps in hopes of finding the owners:
http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2013/july/fbi-seeking-owners-of-stolen-artwork/fbi-seeking-o...

After a well-known dealer of rare maps was caught stealing from a Yale University library in 2006, a subsequent FBI investigation revealed that the man had stolen antique maps and other valuable items from institutions around the world. Most of the pilfered material was eventually returned to its rightful owners—but not all of it.

*We are still in possession of 57 rare maps and books—some dating to
the 17th century—and we would like to return them.* To that end, we are posting pictures and information about the items in the accompanying photo gallery in the hopes that the individuals or institutions who own them will come forward to claim them.

“These items have been legally forfeited to the U.S. government,” said Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, who manages the FBI’s Art Theft Program. “Technically, they belong to the Bureau now, but we don’t want to keep them. Even though we have tried to find the rightful owners over the years, we are making another attempt.”

After Edward Forbes Smiley, III was arrested for the Yale library theft http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2006/september/maps092806,
he admitted stealing and selling nearly 100 rare maps from international collections over a period of seven years. With Smiley’s cooperation, we tracked down most of the dealers and collectors who purchased the approximately $3 million worth of stolen material. But returning the maps to their homes proved to be a daunting task. -- Read More

Library staff, patrons robbed at gunpoint

The normal quiet of a northwest Atlanta library was shattered last week when two gunmen came in and robbed the library staff and patrons.

Seven people were in the Perry Homes branch of the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library System on Bolton Road when the hold-up happened last Friday afternoon, according to Channel 2 Action News.

“I heard a woman scream and I looked around, and a guy said, ‘You know what this is, get on the ground. Don’t look at me,’” said Glen Fortenberry, who was at a computer when the robbers entered.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/library-staff-patrons-robbed-at-gunpoint/nYzjC/

Santa Monica College library workers' 'diversion' saved lives

When a gunman entered the campus library, the aides moved into a closet and blocked the doors, drawing his attention away from dozens of students cramming for finals.

Full article

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