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Police: Man stole books, DVDs from libraries to sell online

47-year-old James F. Jackswho amassed an impressive collectireference materials — thousands books DVDs — was arrested Friday when police discovered

47-year-old James F. Jackson who amassed an impressive collection of reference materials — thousands of books and DVDs — was arrested Friday when police discovered the materials had been stolen from libraries to sell online.

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Updated: November 4, 2011 6:11PM

A janitor wrote the book on how to get arrested, authorities say.

Now he’s charged with stealing thousands of books and DVDs from the Lisle Library and selling them on the Internet.

The case started in April, when a librarian found a notebook, apparently left accidentally by the alleged thief, James F. Jackson, 43, of Glen Ellyn. Handwritten in the notebook was a list of hundreds of books, said Katharine Seelig, acting director of the Lisle Library District.

Some of the books listed in the notebook were missing from the library, Seelig soon found out. They had not been checked out, but they could not be found on the shelves.

The notebook also contained receipts for expensive books that had been sold at cut-rate prices on

Seelig went online and learned the seller also offered other books that weren’t in stock but could be obtained. But Amazon wouldn’t reveal the seller’s identity without a court order, so Seelig handed what she knew to Lisle Police.

Using an assumed name, investigators bought a $295 computer reference book from the anonymous seller and showed it to Seelig, who confirmed the book belonged to the Lisle Library. Detectives then obtained a subpoena to learn the seller’s identity from Amazon.

On Friday, they searched Jackson’s home. He had worked as a janitor at the Lisle Library until recently, police said.

Jackson was charged with three felonies: theft of government property; library theft, and theft/possession of stolen property over $300. His bond was set at $25,000.

“We found reference manuals, law books, children’s books — there was all kinds of stuff,” Lisle Police Cmdr. Ron Wilke said.

“We’ve been contacted by different libraries to see if we have something of theirs, but it’s going take some time to sort the stuff out,” Wilke said.

He wouldn’t comment on how Jackson carried the books out of the library.

“I have yet to find a security system that’s completely foolproof,” Seelig said.

“We don’t have library police,” she added.

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