Our Worst Nightmares Given Flesh: Man Jailed for Overdue Library Books

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Public Service Announcement: if you happen to live in Newton, Iowa, make sure you return your books on time. Or you might end up serving time.

Like this dude: Christopher Anspach.

According to court records, Anspach borrowed 27 separate items (not just books) from the Newton Public Library earlier this year, and after failing to respond to repeated attempts to contact him by telephone and even certified mail, the library contacted the police.

And so Anspach pleaded guilty last week to misdemeanor theft and will be paying the library back, plus a further fine of $625 to the police, which is probably a comparable amount to the value of the items he may have been trying to get away with: $770.67. He will also be serving ten days in jail.

I have to admit my initial reaction to this was to wonder why the library felt the need to go to the police, or to press for jail time. If my law office experience holds out, it was probably the lack of response to a certified mailing, which shows that he was perfectly aware the the library was trying to contact him, and still disregarded their communications.

(The Smoking Gun via Neatorama.)


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