The Houston Public Library system has been the unfortunate target of criminals over the past couple of months. Thieves have been breaking into library locations during off hours to steal cash, leaving behind smashed-in doors, busted windows, and pulverized printers.
“What’s happening with humanity,” asked Josetta Hawthorne, a library visitor. “People not carrying about nice places that serve the public.”
The city of Houston has taken steps to increase security at library locations, such as installing new surveillance cameras, reinforced entries, and enhanced lighting. The library has also moved to a cashless system, and is exploring cashless printer options for customers.
Despite the added security measures, the cost of the break-ins has already cost taxpayers over $20,000 in damages and $8,000 in repairs.
“That’s our tax money that’s getting stolen,” said Justin Marconi, a library guest. “You kind of figure these buildings would be better secured. That’s not good.”
The Houston Police Department is currently investigating the recent library burglaries. Anyone with information relating to the vandal(s) is urged to contact HPD.
In light of the recent burglaries, the Houston Public Library has announced they will no longer be charging late fines for overdue books and borrowed items. This is in hopes that patrons will continue to support the library, despite the criminal activity.
“We’re already getting taxed to hell,” said Marconi. “It’s absolutely frustrating. It’s not right.”
The Houston Public Library is a valuable resource for the city, and it’s unfortunate that it has become the target of criminals. The library is taking the necessary steps to increase security and protect its patrons, and the city is hoping that the public will continue to support the library.