A brazen book-bandit is apparently stealing thousands of dollars worth of textbooks, on the MTSU campus. Now a campus-wide crime alert has been issued for the textbook thief.
How to Write Anything and The Call to Write are just two of the books the textbook thief stole over the pass few months, according to authorities.
MTSU campus police said he wasn't trying to learn the art of writing, instead; he's mastered the art of stealing.
"A large majority of the ones that have occurred were in areas that were unlocked, unsecured or no sign of forcible entry," said Sgt. Broede Stucky, MTSU police spokesman.
MTSU police believe the man has stolen textbooks from offices in Peck Hall at least three times, around July 10, July 11 and again around July 17, where more than a $1000 worth of books was taken.
"A biology book is about $100 a pop," said MTSU student Vincent Lem. That's $100 to $200 a piece, money just laying there."
Sophomore Justin Baker purchased a stack from Phillip Bookstore today.
"Fairly expensive; two of the books were used and one was new, and I still paid $260, that's only for two classes," Baker said.
He's one of the fortunate ones though; he's former Navy, and gets a book stipend from the VA.
He heard about the man going around stealing textbooks on campus. He's now keeping a closer eye on his books, so he won't have to come out of pocket to pay to replace them, if stolen.
"He should pay like everybody else," Baker said. "He's probably re-selling to get money, instead of getting a job."
Police said no one on campus is immune.
"This is a crime of opportunity, so anyone is potential that have books or property for someone to take, is a potential target," Stucky said.
With the prices of textbooks so expensive, no wonder the textbook thief is stealing books. A Fundamental to Organic Chemistry, for example is $280 new. If a student returns it to the campus bookstore, he or she can get at least half price for it.
Investigators believe the thief may be selling the books to off-campus textbook stores, or possibly on the Internet.
They are hoping to get the textbook bandit off the streets before the fall semester begins, when thousands of students will be returning with an average of four to five books a piece.
MTSU police has sent out the following campus-wide alert:
"Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest of the white male pictured below. On more than one occasion, this subject is suspected to have unlawfully entered various rooms on campus and stolen textbooks. If you know who this subject is, have any information about the above mentioned thefts, or know where the subject is storing the stolen textbooks, please call Crime Stoppers at 893-7867 (STOP) Monday thru Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. All callers will remain anonymous and if your information leads to an arrest you will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. If you should happen to see this subject on campus, please call the campus police right away at 898-2424. If you have any additional information or wish to speak to a detective regarding these or any other book thefts being committed on campus, please call 898-2424."
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