Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Amateur sleuthing

Yesterday I spent an hour going through a list of DVDs that were billed or stolen from the library at a local electronic games store. Out of many, I found 2 that were still checked out to one of our users. The manager of the store gave me the name and address of the person who sold them, who shared the same last name of the borrower who had checked the items out. My boss was away for the day so I had to wait to discuss with her what my next step was today. In order to get these 2 DVDs back we needed to file a report with the police. 3 hours after I visited the store and was about to leave the library for my dinner hour, the person who had the items magically appeared. At first he said that he had called and was told he did not have a card with us, but he wanted to know what he may have had out. I produced a list, but suddenly he changed his story, saying that he did not have those items, that he had never had a card, etc. Of course, I told him that I knew that wasn't true, because I had checked out the books billed to him on his card. He asked about getting another card and I told him he would need to produce a picture ID and proof of address, which he said he did not have. He then left.

I called the police today and filed a statement. I said the library wished to have our materials back (he still has 4 other items besides the items he sold) and we wanted to press charges. The police officer corroborated that the person goes by 2 names. He left the library and I felt relieved and justified that we would be getting the items back. All those hours of watching Monk paid off. About an hour later I got a phone call from Mr. Two Names, saying that a police officer was at his house, and would we drop the charges if he gave back all the items. Hm. I let him know that it was the director's decision to make, not mine. I was done playing bad cop.

This of course, draws me to the great dilemma I have. Do we:
Drop the charges, and be glad to have our items back?


Press charges and send a message not to fuck with the library?

My gut says the latter, since he lied to my face and took city property and sold it. If you stole a police car and tried to trade it in for another car, you wouldn't get away with it. Why should library materials be any different?


CBK said...

Press charges and send him through the wringer. Mercy is for the weak!

Malathionman said...

Say "bite me" we are pressing charges and taking our stuff back.