Crimes & Criminals

Who Dunnit?

Main Branch of Pittsburgh Carnegie Library Tagged by Vandals

Ugh. Next door to the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, where a show containing the work of a former graffiti artist is in progress, vandals spray painted lines from a poem by T. S. Eliot...incorrectly.

The Main Library will require exterior power washing, but the librarians themselves worked to get the spray paint off the steps.

Milwaukee Librarian Provided Alcohol To Minors?

Reports by investigative reporters are often not pretty. While there can be "gotcha" efforts, sometimes sunshine is provided in a dark situation. This is an odd one.

WTMJ in Milwaukee presented an online report following up on alleged actions by a librarian serving alcohol to minors near her home. The library director for the town of Walworth appears to have pleaded guilty and no contest to an array of charges. The person concerned, according to the report, has not lost her job even though she wound up with a $3,000 fine.

Things like this are not pretty but raise questions. What is the role of the public library in today's world? When unaccompanied minors come into a library, what is the duty of care owed? What might something like this do to a library's reputation especially when budget request time comes?

Read the story and think about it.

Stolen First Folio En Route To Its Rightful Owner

Police have recovered a stolen 400-year-old volume of Shakespeare after a man walked into the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC and asked to have it authenticated.

The First Folio edition of 1623 was stolen nearly a decade ago from a display case at the Durham University Library in England. The book is considered one of the most important in the English language.

Police say the man claimed to be an international businessman who had bought the book in Cuba. The Folger contacted the FBI and discovered that the Folio had been listed as stolen; the 'businessman' is currently being held for questioning.

Librarians in Brubaker Theft Case Are Named

This article from the Calgary Sun names two librarians, one in Canada and one in the US, who help to nab rare book thief James Lyman Brubaker, whose theft of over $21,000 of books was reported yesterday on LISNews.

One is Ada-Marie Atkins Nechka, of the U of Calgary's MacKimmie Library, and the other is WWU's Rob Lopresti, a librarian at Western Washington University in Bellingham and an amateur mystery writer. Lopresti discovered Brubaker attempting to sell the materials on ebay.

Felicitations on some good detective work.

Montanasilver Dunnit

A sharp (but unnamed) librarian at Western Washington University did the job of putting two and two together; a) maps and plates cut out of rare old books and b) someone named 'montanasilver' selling same on ebay...

Now James Lyman Brubaker, 74, of Great Falls MT has plead guilty in federal court Monday to charges that he stole (a lot of) rare library books with the intent of re-selling them. A search warrant was obtained and executed at the Brubaker residence based on the WWU investigation. During the search, law enforcement discovered approximately 1,000 books of which 832 were suspected of being stolen from university libraries in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming and Alberta Canada.

Did he spray toes at library?

From<span style="font-style: italic;"> </span><a href="http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080529/NEWS0107/305290057/1056/COL02"><span style="font-style: italic;">The Enquirer</span> in Cincinnati</a>: "In a case that has befuddled police officials, a Columbus man has been charged with crawling under a table at a library on University of Cincinnati’s campus, spraying a substance from a syringe on a woman’s shoes and then photographing them."

Man sought after rare books taken

Police are trying to trace a man who has disappeared since his arrest over the theft of rare books from the Royal Horticultural Society in London.

William Simon Jacques, 39, was held after several works vanished at the society's building in Vincent Square.

'Alleged Improprieties' of a Small-Town Librarian

Chicago Tribune reports: DES MOINES, Iowa - State auditors allege that a small town librarian was selling off some of the books in the collection on the Internet and pocketing a portion of the money.

Donna Turner resigned from her job as Director of the Center Point Library (IA) on Dec. 6, 2007.

At the time of her resignation, auditors said 211 library books were listed for sale by an Amazon.com account set up by Turner. More background (including travel, hotel and meal receipts) in the auditor's report.

Oh and they're looking for a new director. Maybe someone without an Amazon account?

Arson at Whitby Library

Police are hunting for an arsonist after a fire set at a Whitby (ON) library caused $10,000 damage last night.

Fire crews were called to the library on Rossland Rd. E. around 10 p.m. after a fire was set inside the building. The fire was put out, but not before ruining books and damaging part of the building.

The Ontario Fire Marshal confirmed the fire was deliberately set, police said. Story from The Star

Convicted Murderer Librarian Found Dead in Cell

William Coday, 51, a former Broward County librarian who fatally bludgeoned his ex-girlfriend with a hammer was found dead in his cell this morning on Death Row, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. Photo and some background on the convict from Court TV.

Coday was being held at Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, was found dead at 2:42 a.m., said spokeswoman Jo Ellyn Rackleff. Sun Sentinel reports.

Maryland School Librarian Ripped off Local Community Organization

And not petty cash...$101,000 bucks.

But this article from the Examiner informs us that a "judge will likely allow a Montgomery County school librarian who stole $101,000 from a Gaithersburg community to serve her jail time this summer and get off with no criminal record so she can keep her school job.

Between 2003 and August 2006, Jill Delisi, 46, used her part-time position as the Bennington Community Association bookkeeper to suck dry the community’s coffers after its board of directors increased community member fees by 17 percent, according to court documents.

Attorneys for accused pipe bomber question role of library in interstate commerce

A man accused of setting off a pipe bomb at the main Salt Lake City library tried to convince a federal judge that charges should be dropped against him because the library does not impact interstate commerce.
During a motion hearing, attorneys for Thomas James Zajac argued that the government's charges relating to possessing and detonating an explosive device must show that the target building has something to do with inter-state commerce.

Attorney Deirdre Gorman argued that the city library's core mission is to provide services to the residents of Salt Lake City and that it's business does not extend outside of the state. Because of that, the government should not be able to prosecute Zajac with interfering with interstate commerce.

Librarians targeted for id theft in Philadelphia,PA

Police in Whitemarsh Township and other towns in the area say a gang of thieves is targeting, of all people, librarians.
Video surveillance shows the thieves in action. A woman walks out of a Lowe's store with two large power tools. She's not a contractor. Police say she's a thief. The credit card she used had been stolen less than an hour earlier from a librarian at the Chester County library in Exton.
The thieves then went on a 16-hundred dollar shopping spree.

Granite City identity thief snared by suspicious librarian

Do you know just what's going on at YOUR library? Is that quiet, studious looking young person using the computer to acquire knowledge...or bling?

At the Collinsville Library in Illinois, Jason David Lingo, 28, of Granite City, admitted he purchased 131 credit card numbers in October and November of 2007, then used a Collinsville Public Library's computer to purchase merchandise with 20 stolen cards, federal court records stated.

Lingo ordered merchandise, mostly electronics, over the Internet with customer names, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, card verification codes and expiration codes, the court records stated. Carriers delivered the merchandise, occasionally to vacant lots, then Lingo would sell or pawn the items.

Last December, the librarian (unnamed in this article) became suspicious because Lingo used different names and credit card numbers to make purchases over the Internet. She called Collinsville Police, who arrested Lingo. He has subsequently plead guilty to the charges.

Librarian testifies in rape case

A city librarian described with a calm voice and matter-of-fact precision Wednesday how registered sex offender Corey Deen Saunders lingered at a table with a 6-year-old boy close to the time that he allegedly raped the child between the stacks of the library's magazine room.

Document Traffickers

This <a href="http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/to-catch-a-thief.html?c=y&page=1">Smithsonian Magazine</a> article tells the stories of people who stole historical documents from libraries and archives, and how they were eventually caught. It is interesting to see that eBay is not only an easy way to sell the stolen goods, but also the means by which many thieves are tracked down.

Even More Scotland City Libraries Hit by Youths

Tough Times for city libraries in Edinburgh Scotland, where libraries are being targeted by gangs of youths who are abusing and intimidating staff and users, it has been claimed. The News revealed this week police had been called to Muirhouse Library 19 times in three months to deal with youth disorder. Now it has emerged that Craigmillar, Moredun and the award-winning Sighthill libraries are all experiencing similar problems. Many of the youngsters are being attracted by free computer and internet access, under the council's Libraries4Youth scheme.

A source within the city's library service said the problem was more widespread than the local authority was willing to recognise.

Gangs put library under siege in Scotland

Sounds Like it's not much fun working at the Muirhouse Library these days. Police have been called to a city library 19 times in the last three months after the building became a target for teenage gangs.
On one occasion, police were called to the library three times in one night when £3000 worth of damage was caused to the toilets. While officers were inside inspecting the damage, the police car was vandalised outside the library.
"Because they can get access to the PCs, that is the attraction."

Shocked UK Teens see Librarian Slashed by Patron

Horrifying events at a library in the UK: reported in the Camden New Journal. The library was the Swiss Cottage Library in Camden (London).

Apparently, they haven't yet caught the suspect. Here's another report that gives a few more details.

Former archivist charged with selling museum items on eBay

The former archivist for Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, VA, and his wife allegedly sold items taken from the museum and sold them on eBay. According to the indictment, the sales were done on eBay from January 2002 through September 2006.

The RMS Titanic items were part of Aks Collection bought by the museum for $80,000, according to the U.S. Attorney.

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