Librarians Go Online To Catch a Suspected Book Thief By Bob Warburton
A suspected library book thief with a taste for expensive reference works and a very active eBay account is scheduled to appear in court next week thanks to the nimble Internet detective work of some Long Island, NY, librarians.
Staff members at the East Meadow Public Library know the alleged crook visited their library twice last summer: Once he made off with three out-of-print reference books worth about $1300; the second time he was barely thwarted in his bid for a volume worth almost $1000.
By tracking the suspect through an eBay account, the librarians were able not only to discover their own missing works but also unearth a startling history.
"He was cleaning out and cleaning up," said Loretta Kelleher, an East Meadow librarian since 1963. "This man had been operating for 11 years. The people buying these books were very pleased and gave him such a good rating. They didn't have a clue because he had this cover story."