Get This: ‘Odd Fellows’ theft prompts library action

Jon Wysochanski - Star Beacon, Ashtabula, Ohio (TNS)

ROCK CREEK — There may not be library police, but that doesn’t mean librarians can’t pick up a phone and call the police.

A man, 19, who was not yet charged with a crime, could face a petty theft charge for stealing a rare reference book from the Rock Creek Library Sept. 13. Reference books are not available for checkout and have to be read in the library.

A librarian called the the sheriff’s office after the man was seen walking out of the library with a book, written in 1907, titled ‘Odd Fellowship Its History and Manual.’

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows are a fraternal organization with the aim of promoting personal and social development, according to its website. The organization is a branch of the English Order of Odd Fellows, which was first documented in England in 1730.

In the United States, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was first established in 1819.

“The degrees in Odd Fellowship emphasizes a leaving of the old life and the start of a better one, of welcoming travelers, and of helping those in need,” the website states.

A librarian, in a masterful cursive handwriting, wrote a witness statement saying the man was caught on video and clearly seen bypassing the checkout counter and walking out of the door with the book.

“It is evident that the identifying tag had been removed — it was found on the library floor,” she wrote.

A deputy, who the report states will seek a petty theft charge through the prosecutor’s office, tried to contact the man, who also has an active arrest warrant form another case, but he no longer lives at his listed address.

Jon Wysochanski

Star Beacon, Ashtabula, Ohio (TNS)

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