WINTHROP — Over the past few months, librarians at the C.M. Bailey Public Library began noticing empty music CD cases. Then, on June 2, they discovered almost the entire collection was gone.

The theft case was cracked soon after, when a library regular returned one of the missing CDs.

Glenn T. LaPointe, 55, of Winthrop, was charged after police searched his apartment and found more than 50 of the missing CDs, as well as half a dozen from Lithgow Public Library in Augusta.

“Right around $1,000 in music CDs was stolen from Winthrop and a few DVDs — pretty much our entire collection,” Richard Fortin, the Bailey library director, said Wednesday. “We had been discovering one or two empty cases here and there over the past few months, but that was not so unusual. Then, on June 2, we discovered that basically all of the CD cases were empty.”

Several DVDs were missing as well, but fewer since they have a locking system.

“I reported that to the Winthrop Police Department and our insurer, and we got a few tips here and there over the past couple of weeks, which I forwarded to the police department,” Fortin said. “They were extraordinarily responsive and they impressed me with the work that they did.”

He said he met with Winthrop officer Ken Tabor at the station on June 19. “He took out the CDs and asked, ‘Do these look familiar?’

Tabor said LaPointe was charged with a felony count of theft by unauthorized taking after police searched his apartment June 15.

Lapointe has a court hearing Aug. 14.

Tabor said more than 50 stolen CDs were recovered during the search. LaPointe became a suspect after he returned a CD that the library had reported stolen.

Fortin estimated that at least three-fourths of the missing CDs were recovered.

Among the items recovered were a half-dozen music CDs from the Augusta library.

Betsy Pohl, Lithgow library director, said Wednesday the staff was unaware the items were missing.

“It’s hard to know when they went missing because they weren’t checked out,” she said. “They were not taken with the use of the library card.”

On Wednesday, Pohl reported the theft to Augusta police so that the recovered items can eventually be returned to the Lithgow library.

Fortin said the Winthrop library will also get its items back once they’re released from evidence. He described the music stolen as “everything from new sort of underground indie rock stuff to old classical music CDs and everything in between.”

“I’ve sort of put a hold on the insurance claim because at this point three-quarters of them were recovered, and the deductible is more than the remaining missing CDs,” he said.

Fortin said LaPointe was a regular library patron, checking out items daily or every other day. He is now banned from the library.

Since the thefts, the Winthrop library bought a locking system for the CDs, Fortin said.


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