Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lucky I'm not the prosecutor

This news story combines two of my passions, books and criminal law. It's short and to the point:

Cops bust woman, 74, for pouring mayo in book drop

BOISE, Idaho — Police said a 74-year-old woman arrested after pouring mayonnaise in the Ada County library's book drop box is a person of interest in a yearlong spree of condiment-related crimes of the same sort. The woman was arrested Sunday at the library, moments after police said she pulled through the outside drive-through and dumped an open jar of mayonnaise in the box designated for reading materials.

The woman was released from the county jail and faces a misdemeanor charge of malicious injury to property. Police did not disclose a motive.

Boise police said the woman is under investigation for at least 10 similar cases of vandalism since May 2009. Library employees have reported finding books in the drop box covered in corn syrup and ketchup.

Where do I even begin with this?

I know, let me guess the motive: lost or unreturned books resulting in mounting fines, causing disgruntled library patron. If I'm right, though, wouldn't the cost of all those condiments amount to just as much as the fines? Unless they are astronomical. Hmmm... that can't be right.

Let's assume, as any good profiler would do, that her "signature" has something to do with her motive. So if it's unreturned books, they are cook books, right?

No, that's not it either. After all, if she takes out cookbooks then she likes food, which means she wouldn't waste it in a book-drop drive-by.

Hmmm. How about she thinks the library is a giant fridge and she's just storing her mayo? No, then it'd stay in the jar.

Oh, I have it. She's been taking out erotic novels and not returning them. A diligent librarian has told her, "If you don't bring them back, not only will there be a fine but people will know what your choice of reading material is."

So she says: "You want your saucy books? I'll sauce your damn books for you. . . ."

You don't think that's it?

It would have been more fun if she'd been pouring cereal in the book drops. Then we could call her a serial book cerealizer.

Well, do you have any suggestions?!

1 comment:

  1. I think you're close in surmising a problem with late or unreturned books, but it's not the fine itself that's the problem. I think the stressor is a disagreement about the fact of when or if she returned the book(s). E.g. She says she returned the book on time, they say it was a week late, or they say they never got the book. The amount of the fine is immaterial. She's incensed that they're calling her a liar or a thief. My mother would have gone to war over exactly this sort of thing.

    In addition, I think some of your concerns can be overcome if the condiments turn out to have expired at the time they are dumped.


Comments posted to this blog are NOT the opinion of the Travis County D.A.'s office, under any circumstances. They are only the personal, non-representative opinion of D.A. Confidential if posted under his name.
I welcome all comments, as long as they are expressed with politeness and respect. I will delete all comments that I deem to be personal attacks, or that are posted merely to antagonize or insult.