Lisle cops: Thief was really cleaning out library
A Glen Ellyn man charged with stealing thousands of books, DVDs and other materials apparently was cleaning out the Lisle Public Library in more ways than one, authorities said Wednesday.
Lisle Watch Cmdr. Ron Wilke said the man, James F. Jackson, was part of an outside company's custodial crew hired to clean the library after hours. Police believe Jackson stole many of the items when the facility was closed, allowing him to avoid security scanners.
Jackson, 43, of 385 Spruce Lane, Apt. 203, was charged Monday with theft of governmental property, library theft and theft over $300, police said.
Wilke said most of the items recovered by police during a search of Jackson's apartment and vehicle were taken from the Lisle Library, but authorities believe some materials also were pilfered from other libraries.
He said investigators already have fielded calls from several area librarians but have not yet been able to go through the many boxes to determine where all the recovered items belong.
Wilke said police and Lisle Library officials became aware of the thefts in April when an employee found a note Jackson left behind containing a list of books and other materials he planned to steal.
Jackson posted a long list of materials he had for sale on Amazon.com, along with another list of items he didn't have but could acquire for customers, authorities said.
Undercover officers offered to buy a book from Jackson over the Internet. When he agreed to sell it, investigators were able to get a subpoena to obtain his identity from Amazon.
They executed a search warrant at Jackson's home on Friday and took him into custody. Wilke said police had to use a box truck to transport all the recovered items.
Wilke said police will contact area libraries if they find items from their collections. He said investigators also have received calls from people who said they bought some of the materials over the Internet.
Katharine Seelig, acting library director, said the Lisle Library hired a new cleaning service July 1. She said the decision to change companies was made long before Jackson's arrest.
DuPage court records show Jackson was sentenced to 12 months of conditional discharge after pleading guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol on June 30. The charge stemmed from a May 24, 2010, arrest in Glen Ellyn.
Jackson also has been convicted twice of reckless driving, in 2006 and 1997. He pleaded guilty in both cases and received conditional discharge and fines.
Court records also indicate Jackson was convicted of criminal damage to property in 1989. He also was charged with retail theft in 1985, but the outcome of that case was not clear in court records.
He remains in DuPage County jail. His next court date is Sept. 6 in front of Judge John Kinsella.
Staff Writer Josh Stockinger contributed to this report.