WBAL-TV, Baltimore, has the story:
The investigation into the thefts began in July when University of Maryland, Baltimore County police discovered a large number of the books in a car. The barcodes were removed from many of them. UMBC police said they believe that more than $54,000 worth of books were stolen from the campus library.[...]
Their cases were supposed to go to court in September, but a judge dismissed three of them, claiming that police didn't have probably cause to stop and search the car.[...]
UMBC police then shared their information, and the book theft investigation continued in other areas until the indictments were announced Tuesday.
"Ironically, there were books on ethics and philosophy, but largely, the bulk of the books were in the nursing field and the sciences, like chemistry," said Mary Eilerman, HCC's Chief of College Security.According to the story, these guys were checking out dozens of books at a time, near the 75-book limit that some of the libraries allow its patrons. Maybe it's me, but why should anyone be allowed to check out 75 books at a time? Are there really enough books in the library system to allow one person to walk away with 75 of them? We all know how slow some people are to return books - are they even allowed to renew 75 books for additional time?
Charging documents showed that some of those who were charged are family members.
I know there are librarians out there who see this kind of thing all the time. Please help me understand why any library would allow such a large number of books to walk out the door with one person. I don't get it.