More Than 200 Dvds Stolen From Library

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If you were hoping to stay home and watch a movie this weekend -- titles like "Fahrenheit 911," "Ice Princess" or "Grumpier Old Men" -- forget it. Those movies and the DVD versions of 204 other titles are no longer available at the Payson Public Library.

Somebody has stolen more than 200 DVDs -- one-third of the library's collection.

"We were inventorying that area and compiling a list of what had been broken, or whatever, for replacement," Library Director Terry Morris said. "There were 207 DVDs (including the cases) that were gone."

Now, when you visit the library you'll find the DVD shelves empty, with a sign explaining that the area is closed due to theft.

"We pulled all the DVDs off the shelf, and I have ordered three-ring binders with plastic sheets to put the DVDs in," Morris said. "Then we'll put the boxes back on the shelf and you'll have to come up to the front to check them out."

It is almost impossible to stop such thefts, even with the latest technology, Morris said. "They pull the magnetic strips off and away they go."

What mystifies Morris is why anybody would go to the trouble and take the risk.

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Library Director Terry Morris

"My goodness, why steal them?" she asked. "You can check out six DVDs for one full week for nothing. That's the best bang for your buck you can get."

And for people on a fixed income, the DVDs represent a very affordable source of entertainment.

"It (the theft) takes away from the library users who can't afford to go rent them," she said.

Beyond any information related to the theft (call the library or the police), Morris is also soliciting donations of DVDs.

"Even at $10 apiece, that's over $2,000 we have to replace," she said. "If people have DVDs in their own private collections that they would like to turn loose of, we would accept them as a donation and give them a receipt which would make them tax deductible."

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