WADSWORTH — Two Copley residents have been indicted in connection with the theft of more than $15,000 worth of materials from libraries in Wadsworth, Medina, Doylestown, Rittman and Barberton earlier this year.
Ronald E. Delp, 25, and Brooke L. Sutton, 26, both of the 1500 block Moreview Drive, Copley, were each indicted Aug. 7 on one count of grand theft, a fourth-degree felony. Sutton was also indicted on one count of identity fraud, also a fourth-degree felony.
Sutton is being held in Medina County Jail on $25,000 bond. Delp is being held in the Summit County Jail on unrelated charges and will be transferred to the Medina County Jail upon his release from Summit County.
“Their motive was to mainly take these DVDs and other items and take them to these places that will buy used DVDs so they would give them money in exchange for turning these in,” Wadsworth police Lt. Dave Dorland said Wednesday.
Sutton allegedly used the personal information of an acquaintance and a relative to obtain additional library cards in other names, allowing her to check out a significant number of items from area libraries.
While some of the library property was sold, Delp and Sutton allegedly kept some of the items, Dorland said.
“They kept a number of these for their own personal use, too,” he said. “Once they weren’t able to sell them any longer, just because of the fact that some of these businesses that were buying them identified them as belonging to libraries, they wouldn’t buy them any longer.”
The Wadsworth Public Library reported the theft of 138 items valued at $5,130.68 on June 6. The books and DVDs were checked out of the library April 11 and never returned.
There was no limit to the number of library items Wadsworth library patrons were allowed to check out at one time at the time of the theft. The library changed that policy in July, with patrons limited to 50 items at once, excluding video games, which are now limited to two per account.
Dorland said Detective Matt Markley, the lead investigator on the case, was able to uncover Delp and Sutton’s names at other area libraries with overdue material.
“We got some cooperation from some of the libraries as far as looking into their records and seeing that there were outstanding balances under these names,” Dorland said.
Police also received information from a relative of Sutton’s that they had received a notice that they had an outstanding library balance, Dorland said.
“Once Markley started putting those together and was able to find more information under these additional names, that is when he was able to tie all these together,” Dorland said.
Wadsworth Public Library Director Daniel Slife said Wednesday that he would like to thank the Wadsworth police.
“I think the thing that I would like to share is just how grateful we are at the hard work and diligence of the Wadsworth police department,” he said.
Slife said that while some of the stolen items have been returned, the majority of the items are still missing.
“We did receive a small amount of materials that were not in their cases, and there were some books that were in their possession from cards that were actually taken out in their real names,” he said. “So we did receive some items, but not a substantial impact on the total loss from the theft.”
The thefts that were allegedly committed in Wayne County are being investigated by the Wayne
County Sheriff’s office and the reported thefts in Barberton were referred to police there.