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Suburban library janitor gets probation for theft of books and DVDs

Lisle Library 777 Front st. Lisle. A 43-year-old west suburban man who amassed an impressive collectireference materials — thousands books

Lisle Library, 777 Front st., Lisle. A 43-year-old west suburban man who amassed an impressive collection of reference materials — thousands of books and DVDs — was arrested when police discovered the materials had been stolen from libraries to sell onli

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Updated: October 27, 2011 9:31PM

A former library janitor who cleaned up selling books and DVDs he stole from the Lisle Library has been placed on two years probation and ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution after pleading guilty to felony theft.

James F. Jackson, 43, also received credit for the 61 days he spent in the DuPage County Jail following his Aug. 27 arrest, said Ricky Holman, the assistant DuPage County public defender representing him.

Jackson had faced up to seven years in prison after being charged with pilfering the books and other items from the west suburban library where he worked as a janitor.

Police said he stole perhaps thousands of items, then turned around and sold the often pricey books on the Internet for cut-rate prices.

He pleaded guilty this week to one count of felony theft in a plea bargain that saw him avoid any more time behind bars.

“It seemed to be a fair disposition,” said Holman, a veteran defense attorney who nonetheless can’t recall handling any similar cases.

“I’ve never had a library theft before,” he added.

Jackson, a Glen Ellyn resident, couldn’t be reached for comment.

But he won’t be returning to the Lisle Library any time soon, even as a patron.

His sentence bars him from the library while he’s on probation, Holman said.

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