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Library Sends Cops To 5-Year-Old's House For Overdue Books

Posted by on Jan. 3, 2012 at 9:16 PM
  • 10 Replies

Wow! I had NO IDEA this could ever happen. I've known people who have not returned book for YEARS... not months but YEARS and they've never had the cops sent to their house. That's just craziness.


First Posted: 01/ 3/12 05:57 PM ET
A five-year-old girl from Charlton, Mass. burst into tears after a local library sent Police Sergeant Dan Dowd to her house to retrieve the child's two overdue library books, CBS Boston reported.

"I thought it was way overboard," the girl's mother, Shannon Benoit, said. "I closed my door, I looked at my daughter and she started crying." According to the report, Shannon's daughter thought Dowd was going to arrest her.

Sergeant Dowd told the station that, although long-overdue books are a misdemeanor, he didn't want to go to the girl's house.

"Nobody wanted to, on this end to get involved in it," Sgt. Dowd told CBS Boston. "But the library contacted us, and the chief delegated, and apparently I was one of the low men on the totem pole."

The Benoit's books had been overdue for "several months," but were quickly found and returned at the police officer's request.

It turns out the little girl's fears of being arrested weren't completely unfounded.

Back in September, Christopher Anspach was sentenced to 10 days in jail for failing to return his overdue library books after several months and multiple overdue notices.

"After several attempts had been made to contact Anspach by phone and certified mail with no luck, Newton Library contacted the Newton City Attorney and Newton Police Dept," a complaint obtained by The Smoking Gun stated.

In a more extreme case of book borrowing delinquency, an Australian library exercised leniency after a first-edition copy of Charle's Darwin's "Insectivorous Plants" was returned 122 years late.

Camden Council Library Services Manager Kathryn Baget-Juleff estimated the overdue fee would be around $37,000 today, after accounting for inflation.

by on Jan. 3, 2012 at 9:16 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Sarah on Jan. 4, 2012 at 12:27 AM
That's nuts.
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by on Jan. 4, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Is that a misdemenor(sp) in every state?
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by on Jan. 4, 2012 at 9:24 AM
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by Bronze Member on Jan. 4, 2012 at 9:43 AM
That's a bit overboard. I could understand if the little girls had the first edition darwin book mentioned in the article (which could be considered priceless and shouldn't be rented out in the first place) but I seriously doubt good night gorrilla warrants a police visit. My dad is a cop and when he was a homicide investigator he arrested someone for overdue library books because they wanted to question him in connection with something else, but the books gave them probable cause to detain him and gave them a chance to interogate him. But the guy was middle aged, not a small child.
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by on Jan. 4, 2012 at 9:43 AM
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by Michelle on Jan. 4, 2012 at 9:50 AM

wow smh

by Platinum Member on Jan. 4, 2012 at 10:07 AM
1 mom liked this

eye rollingwhat next?

by on Jan. 4, 2012 at 10:21 AM


Seriously, I've gone months without returning books, and my bils was NO WHERE near that amount. I think it was 160.

And the farthest they went was to send me to court, and made me buy two of the books I couldn't find.

But a little girl, are you serious?

But on the other hand, maybe it will show her that the books have to be returned.

by on Jan. 4, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Wow, I have a few overdue library books. I knew it could mess with your credit but I had no idea that the police could become involved! The child is five! That's ridiculous. Her mother is the one responsible for making sure the books make their way back.
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by Jennifer on Jan. 4, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Very Crazy

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