Sunday, February 01, 2009


Crime of the Day: Library delinquency

Thirty-nine-year-old Shelly Koontz was arrested Thursday night on a fifth-degree theft charge. She is accused of keeping "The Freedom Writers Diary," which she checked out from the public library in nearby Jesup in April. —story from the AP

And what was this criminal's defense? According to Orlan Love and Jeff Raasch,

“It was my fault, and I should have had it back, but I was busy,” Koontz, 39, a third-shift worker at Deere & Company in Waterloo, said. Koontz is a single mother of two teenage daughters and is helping raise a grandson. She said she was engaged in moving her family from Jesup to Independence in October, when the library turned the matter over to police.

Clearly she had no time for books. This is a classic case of greed.

But American justice is impartial. Whether you "steal" a library book or $50 billion, as in the case of Bernie Madoff, you are taken to the police station, booked, then allowed to go home.

In this instance, though, it might have been cheaper and more sensible to send her a bill for the book, then cut off her library privileges until it was paid. On the other hand there is something to be said for keeping the police occupied.


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