Crimes & Criminals

2007 a Big Year for Japanese Library Thefts

About 284,000 books worth more than 400 million yen went missing from public libraries in Tokyo and other major cities across the country in fiscal 2007, a Yomiuri Shimbun survey has found.

Most of the books are believed to have been stolen, the survey said.
In many cases, thieves left the dust jackets of the books they took on shelves in place of the books, library officials said in the survey.

Story from Yomuiuri Shimbun.

Robber Nabbed @ Your Library

A chase and a capture at the Winston-Salem Public Central Library...reported by Journal Now.

Not just your average day at the Forsyth Library...the robber ran from a parking garage, through a Methodist Church and then with police in pursuit, to the lower level of the Central Library, which houses the periodicals department.

Natalia Tuchina, a supervisor, said she saw a man run into the corner of the building. A group of police officers chased him. She said the man fled to an opposite corner, then ran up the staircase that leads to the main level of the library.

Police then surrounded him, drew their guns and ordered him to the ground, Tuchina said. They handcuffed him and led him through the library's main entrance into a waiting police car.

The periodicals section has a maze of stacks and no exits or windows in the back, where the man had run to, Tuchina said. "I guess the guy didn't know where to run," she said.

Rare Book Thieves Get Off Easy

A federal judge declined Thursday to give additional prison time to four men serving 87-month sentences for stealing rare books and assaulting a librarian with a taser.

In February, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Charles Allen, Eric Borsuk, Warren Lipka and Spencer Reinhard — all from Lexington (KY) — should have received more time than the 7 years, 3 months they were given after they pleaded guilty to the high-profile theft from Transylvania University in April 2005.

Here's the LISNews original report from 2005 (how do you like them archives??), and here's more on the recent ruling on time served from Bluegrass Beat.

Light Fingered Lincoln Librarian Gets the Ax

The head of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield has been fired after his second shoplifting arrest. Director Rick Beard had been on administrative leave since the arrest was made public last week.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich fired Beard on Tuesday. A state spokesman says Beard was notified by phone. Beard was arrested in August and charged with stealing $40 worth of DVDs from a Springfield Target store. The 61-year-old has pleaded not guilty. Chicago Tribune.

This was the press release announcing Beard's appointment two years ago. President Lincoln's Bicentennial is coming up shortly; I wonder what Beard's firing will mean for the celebration.

Update...from the AP: Jan Grimes, director of the Historic Preservation Agency, will run the Lincoln museum and library temporarily. Robert Coomer, a former director of Historic Preservation, will replace Beard at the foundation.

Nearly 6,000 books go missing from libraries in 18 months

Harrow Observer - London,UK - Thousands of pounds' worth of books have gone missing from Harrow libraries in the past 18 months, many of which will need replacing.

Nearly 6,000 books in total have been listed as 'lost' since January last year from Harrow's 11 libraries, some of which cost as much as £40.

Reward offered for missing library statue

The Suffolk police Crime Stoppers agency is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for anyone who can help detectives track down those responsible for stealing a bronze memorial statue from the Commack Public Library.

Memorial Statue Stolen in Long Island

How's this for a sad story?

Shana Kay was passionate about reading. For that reason, her family decided to commemorate that love after her unexpected death in July 2005 with a bronze statue of a young girl on a bench reading a book. It was installed at her beloved local library.

But overnight Thursday, someone took the statue from the front entrance of Commack Public Library, 18 Commack Rd. It had been bolted and cemented into the ground and weighed as much as 300 pounds.

The suspicion is that it was stolen for scrap.

"It's unfathomable," said Jane Kay, Shana's mother, of Commack. "It's a sad commentary on humanity."

Thief steals 150 books from Fairfax Co. library

Daily Press - Newport News,VA - Authorities are searching for a thief who took about 150 books from a Fairfax County public library.

According to a police report, the suspect stole the books Sept. 9 from the Fairfax City Regional Library, which is part of the county system.

Library officials wouldn't say how the theft occurred. But police say a library manager said an unknown woman had been seen removing bar codes from books and placing them in a bag.

Rutherford B. Hayes Library Visited by Light-Fingered Trio

Some say that President Hayes stole the 1876 election from his Democratic opponent, Samuel Tilden, but now it's the Hayes Library that has suffered a loss. Two of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center Library's rarest books, with a total value of about $130,000, are missing.

While authorities have arrested three people believed connected to the disappearances, it's still not known where the books are. The books are the Maxwell Code and the Freeman Code, some of Ohio's first laws, dating back to the 1790's.

One of the thieves was previously arrested in 2007 in connection with the theft of $20,000 worth of antique maps from a bookstore in Harrisburg, IL. He also has a prior arrest record for felony theft and receiving stolen property. Toledo Blade reports.

MS Library Looking at Security Options After Teen Stashes Weapon There

Readers of the Desoto Times are being polled about the possible use of metal detectors in the library after a gun was found stashed behind the First Regional Library in Hernando Mississippi, a place described by the library's executive director as "a nice peaceful town'.

Catherine Nathan said she was reluctant to consider the installation of metal detectors, but would leave that decision up to the Board of Trustees. Said Nathan “We didn’t think the day would come when we would talk about guns and the library. I hired a security guard this past year and we have security cameras outside the library. Now it does pull us up short”.

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