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article imageWoman charged with stealing 222 library books

By Lynn Curwin     Dec 3, 2010 in Crime
Anniston - An Alabama woman, who loves to read, admitted to police that she had stolen hundreds of books from her local library, and is now facing a charge of felony theft.
Employees at the Public Library of Anniston - Calhoun County stopped Regina Smith two years ago when she tried to leave the building with books which hadn’t been checked out. They convinced her to hand over the books that time.
In October they confronted her about two more books, but this time she refused to give them up and left the library.
Police charged Smith, 42, with misdemeanor theft of property on Nov. 25 after finding she had four library books which had not been checked out in her possession.
Investigator Kyle Price then discovered that Smith had 222 books, worth $5,431.
“We found her bedroom full of them,” Price told The Anniston Star.
He said Smith, who had a library card, wore a variety of wigs and would deface books to avoid triggering the security system.
Price said that Smith resisted arrest at first, but eventually confessed to stealing “hundreds” of library books. She was charged this week with felony theft.
Although 222 books were identified as library property, it is thought that more may have been stolen.
Recovered books included the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer and several murder mysteries.
Some will return to library shelves but others will be sold at the facility’s discount sale in April.
“We don’t like to prosecute people; we prefer to just keep a low profile,” Teresa Kiser, acting director at the library, told The Anniston Star. “But it is basically like shoplifting” when one takes a book away from the library without checking it out.”
She said she feels sorry for Smith.
“From what I hear, she read all of those books and treasured them. She could have had an unlimited supply to read.”
Yahoo News reported that Smith's bond was set at $10,000. She is scheduled to appear in court on January 14.
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