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A serial thief who repeatedly stole books from the New York Public Library and sold them to unwitting downtown stores was busted after a furious shopkeeper laid a trap for him, The New York Post has learned.
Andrew Hansen -- who is banned from the library -- saw his criminal career come to a thrilling end in the East Village Monday night as he tried to off-load a batch of ill-gotten goods.
Donald Davis, owner of East Village Books at 99 St. Marks Place, said he had been fooled by Hansen, 27, before and was prepared this time around.
“He walks in. I had gone to dinner. My friend was watching the store for me, [and] he called me on my cellphone,” Davis recalled yesterday. “We had a code set up so that he would say, ‘Where’s my delivery?’ Then I knew the guy was there.”
When he got back to his shop, Davis confronted Hansen, who has a lengthy rap sheet.
“He would tear all the labels off of them so it would look like they were not from the library, [but] there were remnants of the stickers that used to be on the books,” said Davis, adding that the books were mostly graphic novels that go for up to $40 each.
“He starts to move to the door. He wants to get out, and he’s trying to leave. I said, ‘You’re not going anywhere. The police are on their way!’ ” Davis recalled.