Crimes & Criminals

Grand Theft from the French National Library

Speaking of theft, here's news from Paris of a theft on a very grand scale, where the curator of the French National Library (Michel Garel, an internationally known expert on Hebrew texts) is accused of stealing over 30,000 books, many rare and irreplaceable.

So chaotic are the library's cataloguing and security systems it is impossible to know when books were stolen. Some may have been "lost" in an institution that houses 35 million objects. But a year-long investigation by the president of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) found the library had been systematically pillaged over many years.

More coverage from the AP.

Update: 06/28 17:04 EST by B:The accused, Michel Garel, claims it's not his fault in this UPI story.

Probation for Ex-Library Director Duke

Further to our story last month on Irma H. Duke, former director and 30-year veteran of the Phenix City-Russell County Library (GA), a judge has ruled that Ms. Duke will not receive jail time for her crime but must repay the money she took and serve probation.

Duke was fired last summer after an investigation disclosed that she took advantage of a process in which she was issued pre-signed blank checks to pay library employees.

Within the three-year period covered by the investigation, Duke routinely wrote herself two paychecks when she was due only one and misused $70,000 of library funds. Story from the Ledger-Enquirer.

Librarian Dips into PTA Cookie Jar, Hand Slapped

MANSFIELD, LA - Former Stanley High School librarian Deborah Wilkinson must serve two years of probation for stealing money from the Parent Teacher Association and the school system.

DeSoto Parish District Court Judge Robert Burgess also ordered Wilkinson to repay eight-thousand-729 dollars to the P-T-A and 532 dollars to the DeSoto School Board. Story from Lousiana TV Station KATC.

Missing stuff - the power of spooky headlines

Cortez writes "Folks in Portland are missing some library items - 18,786 to be exact - yes, that sounds bad but how big is their total collection? I have trouble finding a pair of socks.
Here's The Story
All 17 branches will now store the most easily taken items — DVDs and CDs — behind the checkout counter. At the three largest branches, systems already in place meant to deter thieves have been disabled by library personnel — after repeated malfunction.
Ginny Cooper, the former library director, said she unplugged the magnetic security gates six years ago and stopped hiding magnetic sensors in most of the library's collection because there were so many false alarms."

Archives Thief Gets Two Years

sabine01 writes "In the Washington Post: A Virginia man has just been sentenced to two years in jail for stealing Civil-War Era archives. He tried selling some of these documents on eBay...."

20K worth of library loot sold at flea market.

mdoneil writes "Some fine gentleman stole thousands of dollars of loot from libraries and sold it at a flea market.

Apparently those call numbers didn't mean too much to the purchasers. Have a look a this fine fellow and read the article here."

Library worker arrested

Anonymous Patron writes "News from Ukiah, California where The county library is out some $65,000 and a Ukiah woman is behind bars, after she was arrested Friday on suspicion of grand theft embezzlement.

Bad week for Ukiah libraries, all around. "

Ex-librarian guilty of theft

Anonymous Patron writes "Columbus Ledger-Enquirer - Columbus,GA reports Former Phenix City-Russell County Librarian Irma H. Duke was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison and ordered to repay $70,000 to the library after she pleaded guilty to first-degree theft of property."

Library signs disappear in massive theft

The Tri-Town Transcript Reports More than 70 Middleton, MA, residents got a rude awakening Sunday morning after realizing they'd been victims of what later proved to be a town-wide larceny of signs in support of the Flint Library's "Save Our Library" campaign.

Police find books worth £3,000 in city house

News From The UK: Books worth £3,000 and believed to have been stolen have been seized by police in a raid on a Leeds house.
Officers from the new Leeds city centre Neighbourhood Policing Team uncovered the mass of books when they swooped on an address in Armley as part of a two week concerted operation against theft offences.
A 43-year-old man has been arrested and charged with theft in connection with the discovery and is due to appear at Leeds Magistrates Court next Monday."No crime is without a victim and we are here to ensure the perpertrators are rigorously prosecuted."
... and the joys of book reading (legally)

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