Crimes & Criminals

Forgery, Theft in the Heartland

GARRISON, Iowa — The former library director for Garrison has been accused of stealing city funds reports the Chicago Tribune.

The Gazette, of Cedar Rapids, says 41-year-old Mary Sheeley, of rural Garrison, is charged with forgery and theft. She was arrested Monday and was released pending a court appearance scheduled for Wednesday.

Authorities say Sheeley forged the city clerk's signature on 36 checks between August and December.

Benton County Sheriff Randy Forsyth says the checks totaled nearly $4,100.

LGBT Books Vandalized With Urine in Harvard Library

The Harvard Crimson reports on a possible hate crime at Lamont Library.

The library staff members found an empty bottle next to the vandalized books that may have contained the urine, according to Harvard College Library spokeswoman Beth S. Brainard. The staff initially responded to the incident as a health hazard, quickly removing the bottle and relocating the damaged books to the Collections Conservation Lab on Level D of Widener Library.

Brainard said that the library staff assessed the value of the vandalized books before reporting the incident, accounting for the space of two weeks between the incident and the  report to HUPD. The books—which Brainard estimated to be worth a few thousand dollars—will be discarded due to the severity of the damage.

Details on the Harvard U. Police Blotter.

Buyer Beware, Stolen LDS Books May Have Led to Bookseller's Murder

Tragic story out of Salt Lake City. Police are investigating the fatal stabbing of bookseller Sherry Black who was killed in the shop she ran with her husband, B&W Billiards and Books, 3466 S. 700 East.

"She was physically beaten and stabbed more than once," Keller said. "Her wounds did cause a considerable amount of blood loss at the crime scene."

The Deseret News has learned about a transaction in which Black purchased rare, stolen LDS books from a Juggalo gang member with a history of making threats. The incident occurred in February of 2009.

Lorin Nielsen, 20, was arrested and charged with stealing books from the Bluffdale home of his father, who is a polygamous church president. Nielsen pleaded guilty in April 2009 to theft, a third-degree felony, and theft by deception, a second-degree felony. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

In March 2009, Nielsen's father told detectives he had noticed some rare LDS books missing from his home library, according to police reports. He reviewed security camera footage and saw his son removing the books on Feb. 20, when he had been at the home for a funeral. The home also functions as a church meeting place.

When the father showed the video to his son, Nielsen admitted taking the books and said he sold them at Black's B&W Billiards and Books store, police reports state.

Getting Over the Horror of the Crossbow Slaying

Following up on our earlier story about the crossbow murder at Toronto's Main Street Branch Library, library staff and patrons are spending the weekend in counselling and the library remains closed.

Toronto Star reports: It was the busiest time of day on the busiest day of the week — as toddlers learned new words, students surfed the web, librarians checked-out books — when a crossbow fired a bolt through Si Cheng’s back.

The 52-year-old died, right there, the Main St. public library on Thursday, just after 4 p.m. His 24-year-old son, Zhou Fang is charged with pulling the trigger.

“This is a very unusual incident,” said Anne Marie Aikins, communications manager for Toronto Public Library. “So we’re trying to make sure anyone affected by it gets their needs met.”

Several after-school programs were underway when Cheng was murdered, including Ready for Reading — a program for kids 5 and under. Teenagers were arriving post class. Librarians were switching shifts.

“It was a bustling place at the time,” said Aikins.

In their panic, many people left knapsacks and books behind. Many are still logged into computers. And the library has a record of members signed up for the several programs going on at the time.

Crossbow Killing InToronto Library

From the Toronto Sun: The city’s first ever crossbow killing is an alleged case of patricide. The 52-year-old man who was shot in the back in a crowded library Thursday is the alleged killer’s father, Toronto Police confirmed Friday.

Si Cheng, also known as William, was inside a public library on Main St., just south of Gerrard St. E., when he was hit in the back by a bolt from a crossbow shortly after 4 p.m., police said.

It’s alleged that Zhou Fang, 24, also known as Peter, fired the fatal shot as women and children in the library watched in horror. Police have not said anything about what may have motivated the city’s 59th murder of the year.

However there is a history of violence involving the accused killer’s estranged mother and father. And at least one source, who knew the couple when they were still living together as a family in 2006 on Mintwood Dr. near Steeles Ave. E. and Leslie in 2006, said “Nora” Cheng Mei Fang “lived in fear” of her former spouse.

“I don’t know what the relationship was like between the father and son, but I know she was terrified of her ex-husband,” said the source, who asked not to be named. The mother and son have been living in Ottawa. The father remained in the family home until recently, even though it was owned by his ex-wife. The North York house was sold for $443,000 in mid-November, according to court records.

The closing date was Dec. 1, the day before the killing.

A Critical But Sad Job for a Librarian, Counting the Dead in México Drug War

The drug war in México and the resulting violence in Juárez are among the top international stories of the last two years. But the crisis moves in and out of the headlines, so you have to make a commitment to follow it. Or you can sign up for the Frontera List, which several times a day blasts e-mails containing news articles, links and commentary to its 600 subscribers. Story from El Paso Inc. It also reminds the reader, day after day, of the mounting body count in México. Molly Molloy, the New Mexico State librarian who manages the Frontera list, says it’s important to keep accurate numbers. “It is all we can do for so many people who have died so violently, and with no attention paid to why they are being killed,” Molloy says. It’s not unusual to see the death count rounded down by at least 200 or sometimes 500, she says. “Even though the total for this year in Juárez has passed 2,800, many reports will say ‘more than 2,500’ or something like that.” Here's a video piece from Grit TV on Molloy and the Frontera List:

Check Out Your Employees

This is pretty low.
Dateline: SPARTA, NJ : A Lake Hopatcong woman who served as an assistant librarian at the Sparta Public Library was charged with pocketing $529 of fees collected for overdue books and lost book replacements over the past two years, police said.

Susan Simovich, 56, was charged with one count of third-degree theft of movable property on Saturday, said Sparta Police Sgt. John-Paul Beebe, a department spokesman.

Library officials began noticing discrepancies occurring in the tally sheets of fine money and the actual monies on hand on Oct. 1, 2008, Beebe said.

Sparta Police were notified of the ongoing discrepancies on July 9, 2010, and Simovich was charged after a lengthy investigation, he said. She was released, pending a Municipal Court appearance on Nov. 8, he said.

Simovich, who worked at the library for about three years, was interviewed at headquarters last Tuesday and admitted to taking $529 of the fine money over the two-year period that the discrepancies began, Beebe said.

School Librarian Allegedly Continued Teen Tryst

CALGARY, ALBERTA - An "inappropriate" relationship between a junior high school librarian and a student continued even after court-imposed orders forbade contact, police alleged Thursday.

The librarian, identified by QMI Agency sources as Agnes Kooy, reported to be in her late 40s, was charged this summer following a complaint brought forth by the parents of a 15-year-old boy who police say had entered into the "ongoing" relationship that began earlier in the school year.

Ted Flitton, a spokesman for the Calgary Board of Education, would not reveal the school in question, citing privacy legislation.

"What I can tell you is when Calgary Police Service told us in July that they had laid charges, we took immediate steps to have her removed from the school and all schools, and with a view to her not returning to work," Flitton said.

Police said the alleged relationship, consensual but illegal due to the boy's age, was brought to their attention by the family as well as the school.

"After remedies weren't satisfied through some sort of intervention with the parents and the school, they went to the police," Staff Sgt. Mark Hatchette told CTV.

Help Police Find Perp at Bothell Library

Bothell cops warn about child molester at library.

The Bothell (WA) Police Department has warned the public about two incidents in which a man approached a 7-year-old girl in the children's section of the Bothell Public Library, then fondled the girl.

The man is described as being a while man with brown hair. In each case, the girls' parents were in the library, which is at 18215 98th Ave. N.E., but not in the children's section.

Both incidents occurred in the last two weeks. In one of the incidents, the suspect was apparently accompanied by a blond girl who appears to be the same age as the victims.

Police need the public's help in these cases. If you have seen suspicious activity or persons at the library in the last two weeks, call the tip line at 425-487-5551.

Godin found guilty in shooting death of librarian

The 12 jurors in the first-degree murder trial of a former district librarian returned a verdict of guilty about 3:20 p.m. today.

After deliberating only 3 1/2 hours, the jury returned the verdict on the third day of the trial.

The defendant, Alan Godin, showed no reaction at the verdict, but his attorney John Convery and Northeast Lakeview College Librarian Robert Vaughn, the victim's best friend at work, lowered their heads.
Godin was arrested at the scene of the shooting, the library of Northeast Lakeview, Oct. 13, 2008, after witnesses watched him fire repeatedly at close range at Librarian Donald "Devin" Zimmerman.

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