Shhhh … I’m taking your wallet

Los Angeles Police say the crown jewel of the city’s library system recently earned a dubious distinction: It had more thefts last year of personal property — excluding shoplifting — than any location in the downtown area.

LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon said there were 31 theft reports filed in 2008, including wallets and purses, followed bicycles, laptops and other electronic equipment. This year, there have been eight reported thefts — four for bicycles versus three bikes for the entirety of 2008 — on pace to surpass last year’s total.