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Police in Bellevue, Park Hills Deal With Vandals & Thieves at Little Libraries

In Bellevue, police are looking for vandals who did a number on a Little Free Library.

In Park Hills, one man admitted to stealing all the books out of a Little Free Library.

Both crimes were caught on camera.

"We had recently installed cameras as a pilot program up here in Park Hills and one of the areas we started at was Trolley Park," said. Park Hills Police Lt. Richard Webster. On Friday, his department was notified that all the books were missing from one of the Little Free Libraries - tiny birdhouse-like outposts for books that are shared by the community in the style of a take-a-penny-leave-a-penny dish. The new camera captured a vehicle driven by a suspect and Webster sent an email out to neighbors who helped him locate the man.

It turns out, Webster said, that suspect was out on bond related to felony charges he faces in Campbell County. The man took the books to a local retailer and sold them, Webster said.

"He needed money for his vehicle," Webster said of the man who allegedly cased the library after taking his kids to play at the park. "He promised me he's going to bring me back books."

There are no charges against the man for the Park Hills theft. "The books are free," Webster said. "But it's a quality of life issue. Even though the books are free, people go down to the park and you should be able to read them."

Webster said that the suspect's probation officer would be notified. 

Meanwhile, in Bellevue, the search is on for juvenile suspects accused of vandalizing a similar library.

The police released a surveillance video of the vandalism, which happened at a little library on Grandview Avenue at around 2 a.m. on February 23.

Anyone with information related to the suspects or the vandalism is asked to call Bellevue Police at (859) 261-1122.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher