Stolen books discovered

By Jami Peterson

University Police are investigating an incident in which at least two students attempted to sell back books at the Village Commons Bookstore that had been stolen from the University Bookstore.

According to UP Detective Todd Henert, two males sold back two books for half price to VCB, 901 Lucinda Ave., at the end of June and attempted to sell back three more later that afternoon..

The employees of the store, however, noticed the books had been stolen and told the suspects they planned to call the police. Because the store employees had no authority to hold the suspects, they fled the store, Henert said.

Henert would not go into any details of how the books were stolen and discovered to be stolen, but he did say a diversion technique could have been used to steal the books from the University Bookstore in the Holmes Student Center.

“We don’t want to educate the community on how to rip off the bookstore,” he said.

Henert did say the books did not set off the alarm system of the University Bookstore when they were stolen, so the suspects must have known which books were alarm censored and which were not.

No firm suspects have been found in the case, but Henert is using a photo lineup based on the description of the suspects to be viewed by VCB employees.

The photo lineup will contain matching descriptions of suspects that have been arrested before. If the identities are not revealed through this method, Henert said he might use NIU student identification pictures or old yearbook pictures in the lineup.

“I’m hoping to have the case resolved by the end of next week,” he said. “It’s probably been going on for some time.”

University Bookstore Director Mitch Kielb had no comment on the case.

VCB Manager Richard Boardman said cases like this one have occurred over a period of years. “It seems to come and go,” he said. “Right now, we’re in a period where it seems to be bad.”

VCB employees cannot catch stolen books unless some identifying mark is found on the books which reveals they have been stolen, he said.

“We’re kind of the innocent third party,” he said.