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LAPD Sting Catches Library Thief

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, April 02, 2010, at 03:38PM
Torch of Learning Eric Richardson [Flickr]

A sting operation aimed at cutting down theft at the Central Library resulted in an arrest on Thursday. Police arrested Anthony Eugene Johnson, 43, after he walked off with an iPod set out by an undercover officer.

Johnson, who has multiple convictions and an arrest history that includes burglary, robbery, narcotics and vandalism, took two passes by the unattended iPod before picking it up and walking off with it the third time. Officers followed and arrested him several minutes later.

“This was no April Fool’s joke,” said Lt. Paul Vernon in a release. “Thefts at the library are too common place, and we want to send a message to thieves: think twice before you take someone’s stuff.”

There were 47 reported thefts at the Central Library in 2009, a 35% increase from the previous year. The most common items taken are electronic gadgets, such as iPods, laptops and cell phones.

“We want to scare the crooks into thinking that anytime they grab an iPod, it might belong to a cop,” Lt. Vernon said. “And we want the patrons to be more aware. I’d love to see every reading table have a sign to warn visitors to watch their stuff.”

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