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VCDL Alert:
15. Who needs a gun in a library? This report says YOU do!

Inside Edition:

Library Crimes

You go to a library to read, do research or study quietly. What you
don't expect, are serious crimes.

When police responded to an emergency call from a library in Des
Moines, Iowa they found James Effler, a registered sex offender,
barricaded in the library bathroom with a 20-month-old toddler. He
is now serving life without parole for kidnapping and sexual assault.

But this is not an isolated case. INSIDE EDITION found that crimes in
libraries occur more often than you may think.

In Ohio last year, a surveillance camera captured a man who was
dressed as a woman committing a lewd act right in the middle of the
library. He pleaded no contest.

In a Denver library, a man was seen stumbling after being brutally
stabbed in the neck by an out of control drifter who was loitering in
the library.

Casey Carr knows how dangerous libraries can be. In December of
2001, when Casey was 11, he went to a library in Sacramento, Calif.
after school to do homework. But Casey said 25-year-old Lloyd Dawkins
kept bothering him.

When Casey went to the bathroom, Dawkins followed him, forced him
into a bathroom stall and assaulted him. Dawkins is now serving 16
years in prison.

So how bad is library crime? INSIDE EDITION examined over 2000
library incident reports from 13 cities around the country in 2005.
In Atlanta, there were 174 reports of theft, disruptive behavior and
harassment. In Seattle, there were 45 reports of public intoxication
and sexual misconduct, and in Cleveland there were 48 incidents of
vandalism, theft and threats.

Libraries are now investing in sophisticated security equipment, such
as surveillance cameras.

In Riverhead, New York, cameras taped a man stalking 85-year-old Ruth
Seybolt who was visiting the library like she had done for more than
20 years. He can be seen watching her movements, and then following
her into an aisle where he brutally attacked her and stole her

Seybolt was found unconscious on the floor and authorities initially
thought she had simply fallen down. But her grandson, Robert Fox,
who is a police officer, didn't believe it and insisted on seeing the
security tapes

Three months later Ruth Seybolt died from her injuries. Garner Allen,
a previously convicted violent felon, was found guilty of her murder
and sentenced to life behind bars.

Fox says no one should assume they are safe just because they are in
a quiet place like a library. "Anything can happen anywhere," he
said. "There are bad guys everywhere."

The president of the American Library Association told INSIDE EDITION
that libraries are very safe, but cautions that they are open to
everyone. Parents should accompany young children and establish
rules and expectations for older children.
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