Some Terrible Person Is Stealing Books From Libraries, Selling Them Online

Public libraries are an amazing resource where you can access books, music, movies, and even e-books without having to pay. However, there’s a criminal somewhere in Pennsylvania who isn’t checking books out from local libraries: he or she is evading the anti-theft systems, removing new books and best-sellers from the library, and selling them.

How many books are we talking about here? From just one library, Cooper Siegel Library in Fox Chapel, PA, books about $6,000 are missing. That’s their replacement value, not necessarily what the alleged thief will be able to get for them in online book markets?

Would customers know? Not necessarily. Libraries get rid of excess and no longer popular books all the time. Sometimes they’re sold in book sales, sometimes recycled, sometimes given away. If the thief has a stamp that says “DISCARDED” and stamped up the stolen books with it, as libraries do when they purge their collections, no customers would suspect anything.

Library books usually contain concealed magnetic or RFID anti-theft devices, and the thief is either removing these or leaving through an alternate exit.

The good news is that law enforcement is on the case: there is a suspect, who they hope to arrest soon. Just be careful if you’ve bought any used books online lately that originated in a library in Pennyslvania.

Thief Takes $6K Worth Of Bestsellers From Library, Sells Online [CBS Pittsburgh]