Crimes & Criminals

Patrons steal hundreds of DVDs from libraries

Hundreds of DVDs are being stolen off library shelves, prompting the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library to change its checkout procedures.

By Oct. 1, all the library's branches will place empty DVD cases on the shelves. The empty cases will allow patrons to browse the library's movie collection but force them to go to a circulation desk if they want to check the discs out. Many suburban library systems, such as Plainfield and Noblesville, already have similar procedures. has more.

Libraries hit in vandal attacks

Libraries hit in vandal attacks: More than half of libraries in Warwick-shire were vandalised in the last year the Evening Telegraph revealed today.
Of the 29 libraries, 16 suffered at the hands of yobs {aka bullies, toughs, hooligans, ruffians, roughnecks, etc.} who caused a total damage bill of nearly £13,000. A report shows library maintenance costs due to vandalism in 2004/05 were £12,837, a rise of £1,258 on the previous year.

Librarian Sentenced for Theft

Stephanie Jones, formerly a librarian at Ft. Polk Army (LA) base, was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine for stealing goverment property.

Jones had stolen books, a ladder, carpet, easels and various other items belonging to the library. The value established for the items exceeded $2,000, and most of the items were recovered from her home.

More from the Leesville Leader.

Town library fire is 'suspicious'

Anonymous Patron writes "Short report from the BBC. A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a 'suspicious' blaze at a Somerset library which caused thousands of pounds of damage. BBC NEWS"

Valuable maps too easily stolen from books, libraries

This probably isn't news to most of us, but rather a reminder to keep our eyes peeled. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the notion that an act more associated with thoughtless college students than savvy thieves could allow theft of rare and valuable items has roiled the community of scholars and collectors bound together by their fascination with maps.

See Also: The Journal Gazette, where they say Public libraries are intentionally designed to give the most people the most access to the most items.

Because the books, CDs and DVDs are bought with taxpayer money, libraries want to be sure taxpayers can get to them easily.

Larceny at the library

Anonymous Patron writes "One more on Forbes Smiley. This time, from The Boston Globe. In June, Smiley was arrested and charged with stealing rare maps from Yale University. Other libraries Smiley has visited have also confirmed that maps are missing from their collections. This includes the Boston Public Library, where an ongoing inventory has revealed that 10 maps worth $165,000 are missing. One of the maps in Smiley's possession appears to belong to the library, according to the BPL's president, Bernard Margolis."

Librarian Sells Books Donated to the Library...Again

Three links (pick one) CBS News, WAND-TV and ABC News about disgraceful and illegal behavior by a librarian, Lori Burger, is being investigated by the Springfield IL Public Library. Burger is accused of stealing books, tapes and CDs donated to the library (valued at $10,000) and attempting to sell them on e-bay.

Trial opens in sale of stolen artifacts

Anonymous Patron writes "Testimony began Wednesday in the trial of a former National Museum of Naval Aviation employee accused of stealing artifacts from the museum and selling them on eBay.

Sherrie Shaw of Pace was charged with dealing in stolen property, forgery and theft after a U.S. Navy "Black Widow" Cross and its citation, a Purple Heart and its citation and a Mercury astronaut space boot were advertised for sale on the popular Internet auction site in late 2002 and early 2003.

From The Pensacola News Journal"

Map Thief or Good Guy?

From the Chicago Tribune; E. Forbes Smiley says he didn't do it.

Suspected of stealing from Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Smiley denies that he did anything wrong, although he was found standing suspiciously over an Xacto knife blade. The missing maps had of course been cut out of books with a blade.

It was later determined that Smiley had also visited the Boston Public Library and Chicago's Newberry Library, where maps were also mysteriously missing.

Library Thieves Busted At DC Area Used Bookstores

It only follows that in our current economy, when you can sell the shoes off your own mothers feet, that some people would stoop to borrowing library books and then proceed to sell them to the highest bidders.

Crystina J. Stephens 20, and her boyfriend, Larry L. Miler Jr., 23, decided to do just that, stealing 483 books from Prince Georges County (MD) Public Libraries, and selling them to local bookstores. Story from the Washington Post .

Their m.o. was to obtain multiple library cards under different names. A very clever police detective caught them in the act after notifying several used bookstores to be on the lookout for the book-toting pair.


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