Sunday, January 25, 2009

Woman arrested for not returning library book

A Independence woman found out there's more than fees to fear from not returning a library book.
Shelly Jean Koontz, 39, 816 Fifth Ave. N.E., was arrested Thursday at her home on a warrant for fifth-degree theft. Koontz checked out "The Freedom Writers Diary" from the Jesup Public Library in April 2008 and failed to return the book.
Police Chief Rick Dietrick said the library and officers attempted to contact Koontz several times before his department issued a warrant.
"This is an unusual situation," he said.Occasionally, library officials ask police to contact patrons about delinquent books, but it rarely goes this far, Dietrick said. After several attempts, the library didn't get its book back, he said. So in October, a warrant was issued.
The book cost $13.95 at retail, but that isn't the point, Dietrick said. "The issue is she failed to return the book," he said.
He added the situation isn't much different than a rental video or another piece of merchandise taken from a business.
In the end, Dietrick said Koontz will end up paying much more than if she returned the book, even with fees.

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