WADSWORTH — Police are investigating the suspected theft of more than 100 items from Wadsworth Public Library.
A June 6 police report says a library cardholder checked out 138 items — books and DVDs — valued at $5,100 on April 11 and have not returned them.
“It is our belief that they are stolen,” Wadsworth police Lt. Dave Dorland said Wednesday.
“We do not have a suspect at this time.”
Dorland said police spoke with the mother of the library cardholder.
“The mother said that her daughter’s purse had been stolen a number of months ago and believes that her library card was in the purse when it was stolen,” he said. “(She) does not know where her daughter is currently located.”
Dorland said police have not been able to contact the library cardholder.
Library Director Daniel Slife said the library card used was created two days before the 138 items were checked out.
“That is an unusual behavior with none of them having been returned,” Slife said.
“That is why we took the step of calling the police, because it was an unusual circumstance.”
Slife said while he cannot comment on a cardholder’s specific circumstances due to Ohio patron confidentiality laws, he confirmed the case involves identity theft.
He said after library items are 30 days overdue, patrons automatically receive a bill.
“The items were checked out in April and the bill went out the third week of May,” he said. “We actually made several attempts to call the individual.”
When library materials are lost or stolen, a market value noted from the distributor, along with the cost to prepare the item for circulation and a system processing fee are factored into the value of each item, Slife said.
He said the library would welcome the items back.
“Oh absolutely, we just want the items back,” he said.
“We are never looking to profit off of late fees or billed items, and they are there in place to encourage people to bring the items back on time so that others can benefit from them.”
Slife said library policy does not impose limits on how many items patrons can check out.