Crimes & Criminals

Who Dunnit?

Alleged killer of Natomas librarian had history of threats toward librarians

Ronald Seay, the man accused in the deadly ambush shooting of a Natomas librarian last week, had been arrested multiple times for causing disturbances in libraries in the St. Louis area before moving to Sacramento this fall, Missouri officials told The Sacramento Bee.

Full article here.

What Do You Think of Reading Books as a Punishment?

From an article in The New York Times, a judge imposes juveniles to read from a list of books and report on their reactions.

  • A Virginia judge handed down an unusual sentence last year after five teenagers defaced a historic black schoolhouse with swastikas and the words “white power” and “black power.”

    Instead of spending time in community service, Judge Avelina Jacob decided, the youths should read a book. But not just any book. They had to choose from a list of ones covering some of history’s most divisive and tragic periods. The horrors of the Holocaust awaited them in “Night,” by Elie Wiesel. The racism of the Jim Crow South was there in Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” The brutal hysteria of persecution could be explored in “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller.

  • Armed Man Shot While Attempting to Enter NC Public Library

    WILMINGTON, NC -- A Wilmington, North Carolina, police officer shot a man downtown Thursday afternoon after police received a report of a “subject with a gun.”... According to New Hanover County Sheriff’s Lt. Jerry Brewer, the man being pursued apparently fled through the parking deck. When he attempted to run into the New Hanover County Public Library across Chestnut Street, he was stopped by a sheriff’s deputy who works there. More at <a href="http://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20170907/breaking-wilmington-officer-shoots-armed-man-downtown">Star News</a>

    Deadly Shooting at Clovis Library in New Mexico

    KRQE reports on a shooting at the Clovis-Carver Public Library in Eastern New Mexico. Two are dead, four injured.

    More on this developing story from USA Today.

    The two individuals killed were library staffers. More from KOAT.

    Salt Lake City Public Library hostage incident

    Van filled with $350,000 in rare books stolen in Oakland

    That novel, once a prized possession of Van De Carr’s, is now gone, along with around 400 of his other books worth well over $350,000. Someone stole his van while it was parked outside a friend’s Oakland home this week.
    “The thing about that book is it was as new as the day it was published. Just a perfect, perfect copy. It glistened,” Van De Carr lamented.
    “It’s my livelihood, it’s how I make a living,” added Van De Carr, owner of Booklegger’s Books in Chicago. “Now, I have nothing.”

    From Van filled with $350,000 in rare books stolen in Oakland - SFGate

    The Unseen Theft of America’s Literary History

    This is a microcosm of the danger facing American archives. Because almost nothing is catalogued at the item-level, most of the unique material housed in these most important of repositories is particularly vulnerable to theft. When someone like Breithaupt steals a book, even a very old book, there is a catalog record that tells us it is missing—and likely some kind of duplicate copy somewhere else in the world. But when he steals a letter from Flannery O’Connor to John Crowe Ransom—unless that letter has been photocopied by another person—it basically ceases to exist. Not only do we not have the information in it, but we don’t even know that we don’t have the information in it.

    From The Unseen Theft of America’s Literary History ‹ Literary Hub

    Associated Press sues FBI over fake news story

    The AP sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI last year seeking documents related to the 2014 sting. It also seeks to know how many times the FBI has used such a ruse since 2000. The FBI responded to the AP saying it could take two years or more to gather the information requested. Unsatisfied with the response, the Associated Press has taken the matter to court.

    From Associated Press sues FBI over fake news story | Ars Technica

    Rare Books Stolen by Suicide Librarian Returned to Sweden

    http://blogs.artinfo.com/artintheair/2015/06/17/rare-books-stolen-by-suicide-librarian-returned-to-sweden/ Two 17th-century books stolen by an employee at the National Library of Sweden in the 1990s were returned today at a ceremony in Manhattan.

    Over 500 Stolen Books Worth 2.5 Million Euros Returned

    At least 500 classical books, which were stolen from Italian libraries three years ago, were returned by German authorities on Friday. Polish Renaissance mathematician, Nicolaus Copernicus, and Italian physicist, Galileo Galilei, authored some of the books that are worth over 2.5 million euros.

    The books were seized at an auction house in Munich, Germany.

    http://webandtechs.com/2015/02/over-500-stolen-books-worth-2-5-million-euros-returned/

    Florida State University Gunman Shot Dead By Campus Police

    Florida State University police shot and killed a gunman who had opened fire in the crowded university library around midnight. Three people were wounded.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/11/20/365402196/florida-state-gunman-shot-dead-by-c...

    Woman charged for torching books at Tacoma library

    A Tacoma woman is in jail, accused of trying to set a library on fire. It happened on a busy Saturday at the Tacoma Main Library, forcing about 250 people to evacuate.

    Library workers don't believe the motive was political. According to court documents, Sailly admitted she had an issue with a library worker earlier in the day and admitted to wanting to burn down the library.

    http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/tacoma/2014/10/20/arson-tacoma-public-library/17642481/

    Westerville Library Employee Accused of Stealing $20K

    WESTERVILLE, Ohio - The deputy fiscal officer of the Westerville Public Library is being accused of embezzling funds.

    Continued here:
    http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2014/10/23/westerville-ohio-westerville-library-employee...

    Ex-Iowa library director faces felony charges over $23,000 in improper payments

    The former library director in Malvern, Iowa, has been charged with ongoing criminal conduct and theft following a state investigation that found nearly $33,000 of improper and unsupported payments.

    The investigation involved claims submitted by former Library Director Stacey Buick. Both charges are felonies.

    ....

    The report says original receipts indicate that instead of library supplies, software and other items, Buick bought such things as an iPod Touch and TracPhones. A window air-conditioner, coffee machine, space-saving cubes, Easter basket supplies and candy, hooded sweatshirt, graduation decorations, laundry detergent, stain remover, video games and soft drinks were other items flagged.

    Full article:
    http://www.omaha.com/news/crime/ex-iowa-library-director-faces-felony-charges-over-in-improp...

    Librarian breaking bad - High school librarian arrested for alleged meth lab in Ohio

    A high school librarian in Ohio was making meth on the side, authorities said.
    Nicole Gries' luck ran out on Friday the 13th when police received an anonymous tip that there might be a meth lab in her home on Foxford Court in Lakemore.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/high-school-librarian-arrested-alleged-meth-lab-ohio-a...

    Freeze! It's the Library Police

    Observations from librarian/writer Roz Warren:

    After 15 years of library work, this is what I’ve learned:

    Most library patrons are decent, honest, honorable people who wouldn’t dream of stealing from us.

    The scum who do want to steal from us will do so and can’t be stopped.

    A while back, a woman applied for a library card at my library, received it, then checked out our entire astrology section and carried it off forever.

    She ignored all of the polite overdue notices we emailed her. Then she ignored the many fretful mailings the library dunned her with.

    Something else I’ve learned, working at the library? Dunning an unrepentant book thief is a complete waste of postage.

    And, of course, she never darkened our doors again. Why would she? She had what she’d come in for.

    Those astrology books were hers now.

    She was an astrology buff, so maybe she was just doing what that day’s Horoscope had told her to do. “You‘re a Virgo and your moon is in Saturn? This is a good month to steal library books.”

    My supervisor, who takes this kind of thing seriously, stewed about our astrology book thief for weeks. She longed to phone her up and say “Shame on you! Return our books this minute. Or else.”

    But that goes against library policy, so her hands were tied.

    Reprinted from Broad Street Review.

    Librarian Peenalized for his Peeculiar Behavior

    So much for privacy, at Florida Atlantic University anyway.

    When Seth Thompson was asked why he decided to shoot videos of men urinating in bathrooms at Florida Atlantic University, he told campus police he launched his strange hobby merely to see if he could get away with it. That personal challenge — coupled with his decision to post 13 of the videos on Internet porn sites — will cost the 40-year-old Lake Worth man a year of his life.

    After struggling for nearly a week to decide the appropriate punishment for the man who worked at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts at FAU’s library, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge David Crow on Thursday sentenced Thompson to 364 days in the county jail.

    As about 10 friends and family members looked on, silently weeping, Thompson was immediately slapped in handcuffs and taken to jail. He mouthed words of support to his backers as he struggled to hold back tears.

    Rare books stolen from Becker College Library

    A British man named Joseph Heath was ordered to pay $3,000 to Becker College library after stealing 100 rare books, including one signed by Abraham Lincoln, The Telegram reports.

    The 53-year-old Leicester native had smuggled around $115,000 out of the antique book collection of the library. One of the books he took was a first edition o Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

    Heath, a janitor at the college, had offered the missing books or sale to private collectors, as well as posting them on Craigslist.

    Heath’s book pilfering was discovered when he tried to sell books to the Leicester Historical Society, and one of the board members recognized the editions.

    Huge Thefts from Girolamini Library with a Librarian in the Plot

    Big story from Naples Italy via The New York Times. Here's the perp, Marino Massimo De Caro, now on trial.

    It was one of the most dramatic thefts ever to hit the rare-book world, the disappearance of thousands of volumes — including centuries-old editions of Aristotle, Descartes, Galileo and Machiavelli — from the Baroque-era Girolamini Library in Naples. Now, prosecutors at a trial here are trying to show how such a wholesale violation of Western cultural patrimony could have taken place.

    The very man charged with protecting these treasures, Marino Massimo De Caro, a politically connected former director of the library, is accused of being at the center of a network of middlemen, book dealers and possibly crooked conservators — all part of what prosecutors say is a sometimes corrupt market for rare books in which much is spent and few questions are asked. Apart from Mr. De Caro, 13 others are charged, including a priest.

    Some interesting backstory on the theft here and and here from the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

    A Sly Cutter in Oak Grove

    Someone is cutting random pages out of books at the Oak Lodge Library in Oak Grove, OR.

    Clackamas County deputies say the vandal has targeted 122 books so far, costing taxpayers more than $2,700.
    Over the past few weeks, library employees noticed pages had been torn and/or cut out of numerous books, mainly from the mystery and science fiction collections, deputies said.

    Library employees conducted an internal investigation by viewing who had been checking out the vandalized books. They believe the damage was done while the books were still in the library, deputies said. Only the center pages are being ripped or torn out.

    The mystery and science fiction books are in an area that is far away from the main desk and more difficult to monitor by staff.

    Anyone with information concerning this crime is encouraged to contact the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office's confidential tip line by telephone at 503-723-4949.

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