Crimes & Criminals

The Long Sad Story of an Embezzling Librarian

Story out of Pontiac, IL:

Eric E. Colclasure, 44, of Pontiac, the former director of the Pontiac and Odell libraries, was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday afternoon on felony charges alleging he stole from his employers.
In addition to the prison term, Colclasure was ordered by Ford County Circuit Judge Stephen Pacey to pay restitution to Odell Public Library in the amount of $30,118.65 within 24 months of his release. He will also be given credit for three days time served and will spend two years immediately after his prison release in supervisory release.

At Least He Didn't Mention The Library...

With the publication of the Freeh report relative to the child abuse scandal at The Pennsylvania State University, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Morrisey is calling for the outright physical destruction of many campus monuments to coach Joe Paterno. Not mentioned in the piece by Morrisey is Paterno Library on-campus which otherwise bears the coach's name.

Robbins seethes after library's air conditioner is gutted

Patrons and employees of the public library in Robbins, IL are outraged that someone vandalized the building's air conditioner.

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A Dime at a Time

From the New York Times: Yonkers, NY library worker embezzled late fees over a period of seven years and now faces jail time.

Margo Reed, who earned about $43,000 a year and was described as a conscientious, trusted and well-liked longtime employee, was responsible for taking $163,582 in library fines collected by the three public library branches in Yonkers. It was her job to collect fines — 10 cents for most books, 50 cents for new seven-day ones — and turn them over to the city for deposit.

According to her guilty plea, from July 7, 2004, to Dec. 7, 2010, she would regularly alter the collection paperwork to reflect a lower amount of fees and pocket the difference after taking money out of the library deposit bag. Stephen Force, the Yonkers Library director, said officials discovered that she regularly used correction fluid to alter the receipt sent to her and then entered the new number on the paperwork she filed when she sent the money to the city. The difference between what she received and what she reported was usually $100 or more, he said.

Man shot in back at Mpls. library is paralyzed

Man shot in back at Mpls. library is paralyzed
Hennepin County increased its security patrols of the Franklin Community Library in south Minneapolis on Thursday after a man was shot the day before by someone who accosted him in a library bathroom.

$15K Statues stolen from Library sold for $270 then melted

Statues stolen from Waukegan Library sold for $270 then melted
The thieves who stole a pair of bronze statues, valued at $15,000, from the courtyard of a north suburban library last month sold the artwork to a West Side scrap metal business, which paid them about $270 and then melted the pieces, police said.

Rare book's theft a symptom of 'Mormonia'

Rare book's theft a symptom of 'Mormonia'

On Tuesday, federal marshals barreled into a condominium in Herndon, Va., and found a most unusual book: a leather-bound first edition of the Book of Mormon.

They also found the man who allegedly pilfered the prized tome - worth between $50,000 and $100,000 - from a suburban Phoenix antique book shop, authorities said.

In National Archives thefts, a radio detective gets his man

In National Archives thefts, a radio detective gets his man
Goldin exposed what authorities have called “one of the most egregious instances of theft” from the National Archives, where the government preserves billions of historic documents, photographs and recordings. On Thursday, that investigation is scheduled to culminate in the sentencing in Greenbelt’s federal court of a longtime Archives official who has admitted to stealing nearly 1,000 recordings, many of them rare.

Cape Cod Library Book Thief Resells Booty

HARWICH — Librarians across Cape Cod are checking their book collections after a Hyannis man was allegedly caught stealing books last week at Brooks Free Library. Arthur Souza, 52, was charged with larceny of library materials valued at more than $250, but police and librarians believe he has stolen from at least four Cape libraries and sold the books to a Chatham antiques dealer who in turn auctioned them on eBay.

Here's a photo of the perp:

Red flags first went up the weekend before last, when Lucy Loomis, director of Sturgis Library in West Barnstable, received an email from a bookseller in South Carolina. The man had seen a book for sale on eBay, an online auction site, that clearly bore library identification markings.

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