Monday, November 01, 2010

Law Student Turns Book Thief

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that a second-year law student at Ohio State University is believed to have stolen "more than 200 [books], one at a time, from the university law library and sold them online for more than $10,000." It is interesting to note that the books that were stolen were not rare law books; rather, they were "common titles" that most academic law libraries probably have in their libraries. The suspect had over 1,350 books listed for sale at the Orion Bookstore site on The police had been tracking the "thefts since the beginning of August, when the university got an e-mail from a Brazilian lawyer ... who had bought a volume online ... and found a crossed-out OSU ink stamp on its inside front cover." This lead led to "a sting operation, marked merchandise and a hidden camera." Rare books are much easier to identify than more commonplace titles, and the Ohio State investigation is still in process. This is a good reminder of the monetary value of the physical collections that librarians have built up over many years.

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