Crimes & Criminals

What drives people to steal precious books

The Financial Times wonders What drives people to steal precious books? “Book theft is very hard to quantify because very often pages are cut and it’s not noticed for years,” says Rapley. “Often we come across pages from books [in hauls of recovered property] and we work back from there.” The Museum Security Network, a Dutch-based, not-for-profit organisation devoted to co-ordinating efforts to combat this type of theft, estimates that only 2 to 5 per cent of stolen books are recovered, compared with about half of stolen paintings.

Police: Alleged thief left library card

Police in Wisconsin said a man accused of stealing beer from a tavern was arrested after his library card was found at the scene of the theft.

Librarian murdered while visiting friend

Librarian murdered while visiting friend: Police have a man in custody for a deadly home invasion on Long Island. The victim, a librarian, was stabbed on Leisurely lane in Bellport. Robert Schivo of Medford spent the night at the police precinct, and is expected to be arraigned later Monday.

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.

Shhhh ... I'm taking your wallet

Los Angeles Police say the crown jewel of the city's library system recently earned a dubious distinction: It had more thefts last year of personal property -- excluding shoplifting -- than any location in the downtown area.

LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon said there were 31 theft reports filed in 2008, including wallets and purses, followed bicycles, laptops and other electronic equipment. This year, there have been eight reported thefts -- four for bicycles versus three bikes for the entirety of 2008 -- on pace to surpass last year's total.

Iowa woman arrested for keeping library book

An Independence woman was arrested on theft charges Thursday for failing to return a library book.

Shelly J. Koontz, 39, was arrested just after 8 p.m. at her residence after a warrant had been issued. She was originally charged with fifth-degree theft for keeping "The Freedom Writers Diary," which she checked out from the Jesup Public Library in April 2008.

Jesup Police Chief Rick Deitrick said the book was valued at $13.95.

"Theft is theft, no matter what it is," Deitrick said.

Lost Library Card Leads To Identity Theft

An Omaha woman who lost her library card said its disappearance nearly wound up costing her hundreds of dollars.

Michelle Anderson said she last remembered using her library card in September.
"I think I used that self-checkout and, being me, I left my card on the self-checkout," she said. "It's the only thing I can think of.

A couple of months later, notices from the library started arriving in the mail. Anderson said she threw them away, thinking they were for a $5 fine she owes.

It wasn't until another letter arrived from a collection agency that she realized someone had checked out more than $584 worth of materials in her name and the library was holding her accountable.

Full story here.

Revere Public Library Director Resigns over Inappropriate Purchases Using City Funds

<a href="">The Jan 14 Boston Herald</a> is reporting that the Revere(Mass) Public Library Director resigned on Tuesday because of inquires into "inappropriate purchases" using city funds. "A source close to the police investigation said the purchases include “thousands” spent on, among other things, a watch and home furnishings."

Bad Apple Law Librarian?

The longtime law librarian at the Santa Maria court complex is facing felony charges for allegedly burglarizing the Solvang residence of a local attorney and stealing firearms and jewelry. Lompoc (CA) Record.

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office on Dec. 23 filed charges of first-degree residential burglary and grand theft firearm against Stephen Christopher Zaharias, 69.

Zaharias, of Santa Maria, is due in court Jan. 13 to be formally charged, according to a source with the District Attorney’s Office who asked to remain anonymous.

The librarian is suspected of breaking into and burglarizing the Solvang condo of attorney Milton H. Yoshimoto on Dec. 12, according to the source. Zaharias later tried to sell guns stolen from the residence at an Oxnard gun shop, the source said.

Thief Messes With Wrong Librarian

Ann Arbor (MI) District Library Director Josie Parker may have a pleasant Southern accent and good manners, but don't question her toughness.

On Sunday, Parker pursued a thief after he grabbed a collection box of money donated for the library's Family Book Club. In the process, she fractured a tibia and the thief got away - but not with any money. Go Josie!

The incident took place Sunday about 9:35 p.m. at the Borders store in the Arborland shopping area in east Ann Arbor. Parker was volunteering with a gift-wrapping program that benefits the book club. While Parker was wrapping gifts, a man in his 20s approached and stole the donation box, and Parker instinctively went after him.

"He tripped in front of her and she shoved him to keep from falling into him, and twisted her knee trying to recover,'' said Prue Rosenthal, a library board member.

"He went flat down, crushing the box containing the money and then he scrambled up and ran away,'' Rosenthal said in an e-mail account of the incident. MLive story.


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