The overdue book list at Salt Lake County libraries will get shorter soon with the recovery of more than 200 books, videotapes and compact discs checked out with stolen library cards.
Two 17-year-old high school dropouts, a boy and a girl, posing as students at Taylorsville High School have been accused of breaking into lockers and taking wallets and other personal items. Library cards and video club membership cards taken from the wallets were used to check out at least 107 books, 61 compact discs and 70 videotapes. More items may have been wrongfully checked out or rented that haven't shown up on overdue lists yet, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's deputy Steve Chard.Three video cassette recorders checked out from area businesses have also been recovered.
"Once we caught up with them, knowing they would eventually have to pay for everything they had, they tried to minimize their restitution by returning the things they had," Chard said.
Both youths were booked into the juvenile detention center Thursday evening where the girl, a former Granger High student, told officers it would take her several days to round up all of the stolen merchandise.
Chard said he spotted two juveniles loitering in the hall at Taylors-ville High Sept. 2 and chased them out of the hall only to get reports later in the day of thefts from two lockers near where the pair had been standing. A woman also came to the school after getting a library printout that listed numerous overdue videotapes checked out on her daughter's stolen library card, which led Chard to tie the locker break-ins to the missing materials.
Chard said he is still sifting through a bag full of personal items - identification cards, pictures, receipts - that were recovered and need to be returned to their rightful owners.
Several adults were used as fences for some of the stolen tapes and discs that were sold to pawn shops, but the adults probably helped the juveniles sell the items without knowing they were stolen, Chard said. No other juveniles are believed to be involved in the string of locker and library material thefts.