Bookstore nabs alleged burglars

A GW Bookstore employee and an accomplice were arrested by the University Police Department Wednesday evening, after they were caught attempting to steal 75 books worth about $5,000.

Bookstore staff alerted UPD to suspicions that a temporary employee was stealing textbooks, prompting officers to stake out the area and catch the subjects, UPD Chief Kevin Hay said.

At about 6:45 p.m., the former employee loaded a slew of books into recycling bins and hauled them to the loading dock to a vehicle where a driver was waiting, Hay said.

The subject did not purchase the items or have permission to take books from the bookstore without paying for them, according to Metropolitan Police reports.

Security cameras showed the suspect – a thin, 6-foot-3-inch black man with black dreads – taking books several times without paying and placing them on a loading dock.

The driver of the vehicle – a black Toyota 4Runner with a Virginia license plate – was not affiliated with GW. According to the report, he had brown eyes, black hair and weighed 160 pounds at 5 feet, 8 inches. The police report did not list the name of the suspects, and University policy prohibits Hay from releasing names from UPD records.

Hay said there is “hard evidence” to prove that this is not the first time the employee successfully stole books from the store in the past.

“They got greedy and kept coming back thinking no one would notice, but the bookstore managers were on their game and figured it out,” Hay said.

Hay also said detectives from MPD will conduct a follow-up investigation on the incident, adding that it is up to the assistant U.S. District Attorney’s Office to formally press charges on the suspects in court.

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