Crimes & Criminals

Rare books at KU’s Watson Library targeted by vandals

Thieves are ripping off Kansas University’s Watson Library, tearing apart books filled with old and expensive artwork, taking what’s valuable and leaving destruction behind.

Thousands of dollars worth of expensive pages have been cut apart and stolen from rare books dating to the early 1800s, their bindings and remnants left sprinkled in unusual spaces throughout the library.

PA man admits selling faux "signed" books online

PA man admits selling faux "signed" books online: A Reading man admits he forged the signatures of Truman Capote, Tom Clancy and other famous authors and sold them for inflated prices on eBay.

CA librarian accused of fraud

An Imperial Valley librarian is under investigation accused of insurance fraud. She is facing charges of insurance fraud and grand theft. She is acussed of faking an injury while she worked as a librarian at Centinella State Prison to collect more than twenty thousand dollars in workers compensation.

IL library head accused of stealing $135,000

A former suburban Chicago library district official has been indicted on theft and official misconduct charges after allegedly stealing more than $135,000 to fund a gambling addiction. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office says 58-year-old Susan Quirk has pleaded not-guilty to all charges. Bond was set at $20,000 during a hearing Wednesday.

Patron barred after threatening to ’blow up’ library, say police

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - Police were called to the public library Tuesday when a patron was reportedly yelling, viewing pornography on a library computer and threatened to “blow up the building,” reports the Portsmouth Herald.

Officers were dispatched to the Parrott Avenue library at approximately 12:20 p.m. when staff reported the man was viewing porn and making the threats on the second floor. According to police, the man had been escorted off the library property an hour earlier.

What drives people to steal precious books

The Financial Times wonders What drives people to steal precious books? “Book theft is very hard to quantify because very often pages are cut and it’s not noticed for years,” says Rapley. “Often we come across pages from books [in hauls of recovered property] and we work back from there.” The Museum Security Network, a Dutch-based, not-for-profit organisation devoted to co-ordinating efforts to combat this type of theft, estimates that only 2 to 5 per cent of stolen books are recovered, compared with about half of stolen paintings.

Police: Alleged thief left library card

Police in Wisconsin said a man accused of stealing beer from a tavern was arrested after his library card was found at the scene of the theft.

Librarian murdered while visiting friend

Librarian murdered while visiting friend: Police have a man in custody for a deadly home invasion on Long Island. The victim, a librarian, was stabbed on Leisurely lane in Bellport. Robert Schivo of Medford spent the night at the police precinct, and is expected to be arraigned later Monday.

LA Library thieves: not as sad as first thought

One of The Blogs from the LA Times picks up on the crime rate story from yesterday.

The news of the thefts is sad — nobody's stuff should be stolen, and nobody should be desperate enough to steal purses from empty library carrels — but it's not as sad as I thought when I first read the headline. Because my initial fear was that people were going to the library to steal books. Now that would really be bad news.

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.

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