DOCUMENT: Stupid, Crime

Iowa Library Scofflaw Booked

Theft charge for woman who failed to return a $13.95 volume

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Iowa Library Scofflaw Booked

JANUARY 23--Meet Shelly Koontz.

The Iowa woman was arrested last night and jailed briefly for failing to return a library book. Koontz, 39, was busted after ignoring repeated requests from the Jesup Library to turn over 'The Freedom Writers Diary,' a $13.95 volume that chronicles a teacher's success at a California high school.

Koontz, pictured in a Buchanan County Sheriff's Office mug shot, spent about two hours in custody before posting $250 bail on the theft rap.

According to Jesup Police Department reports, Koontz, a single mother of two teenage girls, did not return the book when it was due last April. In a bid to retrieve the book, library officials subsequently called Koontz four times and wrote her three letters (a fourth missive, sent certified mail, was refused by Koontz).

As a result, the library's director recently informed police that she wanted to press a misdemeanor simple theft charge.

Koontz is the second book enthusiast to be arrested in recent months for failing to return library property. Last August, Heidi Dalibor, a 20-year-old Wisconsin woman, was arrested over two overdue books, including 'White Oleander,' a former Oprah Book Club selection. (3 pages)