Overdue Library Book Leads To Arrest

An overdue library book led to the arrest of a Texas man. Jory Enck reportedly checked out a GED study guide from the Copperas Cove city library in 2010. When he failed to return the book, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

A city ordinance is blamed for the bizarre situation. Municipal Court Judge Bill Price said the law was created to save money, as the overdue books need to be replaced. Although some residents agree with the harsh penalty, others think it is a waste of time and money.

As reported by RT, the library gives patrons 90 days to return overdue library books. Library employees will attempt to contact the patrons via telephone and email. If they fail to respond, their names are turned in to the municipal court.

When the court becomes involved, warrants are issued for the patrons’ arrest. If arrested, the suspects are booked into jail. Bond is usually set at $200.

As reported by Fox News, Enck posted the bond and was released pending a court date. The book was reportedly returned to the library the following day.

Resident Clyde Glosson said he understands the reasoning behind the law. However, he thinks the punishment is “a little extreme.” He said he plans to discuss the ordinance with the mayor.

Copperas Cove Police Sargent Julie Lehmann said officers do not seek out patrons with overdue books. She said the warrants are usually discovered during routine traffic stops.

Lehmann said arrests over library books are rare, but “it’s not like this is the first time.” The ordinance has been in place for years.

Judge Pierce said patrons who keep library books beyond the due date prevent others from enjoying the books:

“No one wants to get arrested over a library book… The other side of that is people who go to our library and can’t have these materials, they’re put out, too.”

The overdue library book that led to Enck’s arrest was a study guide for a General Education Development test. The GED is often obtained in lieu of a high school diploma.

[Image via Flickr]

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