Pawn Shops and the Library

Ok, I seem to be on a roll about theft and the library.

We have had our DVDs and other audio-visual materials out for the public without lock for some time. We still have security (we are an RFID system) so all of our discs have RFID doughnuts. Naturally, here and there, we find the stripped off doughnuts inside books, under bookshelves and in the restroom waste basket. No surprise there.

But last week, we had the latest wrinkle in theft at the the library, when the local pawn shop called us after an “honest” customer of theirs returned to the pawn shop announcing that all of the DVDs he had just purchased were from the library. Sure enough, they still had our hand written barcodes on the discs and the items were all showing in our branch as “checked in.”

Our thief is not the brightest bulb: first of all, he/she steals them from the local library and then pawns them at a shop around the corner; secondly, he/she gives a real name and address (though bogus) to the pawn shop; and thirdly, he/she has an account at the library and just recently “reserved a book” that generated a pick up notice. Now, really, will he/she actually come and pick up this book?

Out of 53 DVDs (alphabetically R-Z), we have recovered 30 or so. But now, the question is whether the first half of the alphabet has been pawned at a different shop. We’ll see. We’ll be doing an inventory this week with one of our volunteers.

So fun. So irritating. So exasperating!

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