FAIR OAKS (CBS13) – A Sacramento County man was arrested on Wednesday after stealing more than 2,000 books from the Fair Oaks Library. Investigators with Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department served a search warrant and recovered more than $100,000 in library property from his house.
“Of course you’re stunned and outraged because I mean who does that to a library?” said Rivkah Sass, Sacramento Public Library Director. “It’s stealing right. Don’t do that!”
Investigators say it started when staff at Fair Oaks Library started noticing several books were missing. Thanks to curious librarians and the sheriff’s department, the mystery has been solved.
Sgt. Shaun Hampton says 2,689 books and 3,846 DVDs were found in 46-year-old Shahin Sadighian’s home.
“We believe he may have had a significant love for books as evidenced by what we found in his home,” Hampton said.
The technical term is a “bibliophile.” But how did Sadighian get the books out of the library?
“Well here’s this backpack,” Sass told CBS13, describing library surveillance video. “Here’s this person with a backpack.”
Sass says staff saw the man in surveillance video walking throughout the library with a backpack. The suspect would check out one or two items but never a whole stack. Librarians determined the suspect would visit the library primarily on Saturdays.
After noticing a pattern, they called the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department for assistance.
“And we served that search warrant the day after Christmas,” Hampton said.
After the search warrant, deputies found the motherlode. Thousands of books and DVDs piled up all around the house. It took a huge truck to get it all back to the library.
And 24 hours later, roughly half of the stash had already been put back in circulation.
“It was great, I mean it really was,” Sass said. “It was super great.”
Hampton says it’s a crime he’d never seen before in two decades on the job.
“We have no idea what the suspect was planning to do with all of these books!” he told CBS13.
Sass credits her librarians with a knack for cracking open a good mystery.
“Not to use another bad pun but they went by the book, they really were very systematic,” she said. “It isn’t about being mean librarians. It’s the whole purpose of a library. It’s so we share!”
Right now, investigators are still sorting through the inventory and trying to see if any other libraries were hit. Sadighian was released on bail but will face charges of felony shoplifting and grand theft.