Thieves Bore Hole Through Library Wall; $12K Worth Of Computer Equipment Stolen
Ripped out of the pages of a novel, some bold thieves bored through the wall of a Philadelphia library and stole thousands of dollars worth of computers.
Now, the people who depend on those computers are pleading for help.
The novel and the movie Shawshank Redemption come to mind, but instead of 20-odd years it took thieves several hours to smash through the brick wall, taking with them the lifeline of an entire community, Fox 29’s Julie Kim reported.
The picture shows the work of some dedicated thieves at the Cecil B. Moore Branch Free Library located on Cecil B. Moore and Ridge avenues.
“Someone had burrowed a hole through the wall and came and stole all of the computers,” library patron Marjorie Lazenby said.
Six harddrives, eight computer monitors and the accessories to go with them were all ferreted away through a hole in the wall.
On the other side is a vacant home the thieves used for cover.
“Who would even think of something like that?” Lazenby asked.
It’s been a plot in novels and movies, but here in the real world the theft of the $12,000 worth in equipment means people like Lazenby lost a reliable way to access the Internet.
“I went to look for an apartment and look for another job,” she said. “And that’s heartbreak to me because I use them at least twice a week. I need them. I don’t have a computer at home.”
Jonathan Mathis described his use of the library computers as “looking for work, you know, on as many online career sites as I can find.”
The thieves left the card catalog and the printing computers alone, perhaps deterred by the surveillance computer.
For now, there’s no more free computer or Internet access and, according to the signs posted inside the library, due to drastic budget cuts funding may not be available to replace them.
“If anybody out there can help, please help. We need the help,” Lazenby said.
Police have not reported any arrests, and investigators could use some leads. So, if you have any information, you’re asked to contact them.
Kim did speak to someone from the Free Library of Philadelphia, who told her they are hoping to get new computers installed, but they first need to figure out how to safeguard the building.