Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Renton Library Vandalized this morning

When James Liston, the courier for the library, arrived this morning at the Renton Public Library , there were already police on hand surveying the scene of vandalism that occurred this morning between 3 and 4 a.m. Apparently some good intentioned Rentonite had seen the broken glass on the staff door at the back of the library as it faces the parking lot and put a call in.

When Laurie Finlayson, Reference Librarian, arrived at 8 am, there were nine police vehicles in attendance, and the detectives were dusting for fingerprints on the numerous plastic tubs that had once held staff food stuffs and were now scattered everywhere. It seems that two young men broke the glass on the side door to the library, went into the Staff room and opened the fridge and began throwing and smashing jelly jars and other food everywhere. Some plastic food bins were found as far away as the playground. A computer monitor was stolen as were DVDs. As far as the staff can tell, none of the books were harmed or stolen (big sigh of relief here!) and the young men had merely minutes within the library to wreck their mayhem, as it was all caught on video feed, which has been submitted to the police for examination.

Outside held some more sad discoveries. The library has a 95 Ford Taurus that they use to haul books from one branch to another and to City Hall. This had all of the side windows punched out, the roof was stomped upon repeatedly and the front windows trashed. It isn't a new, fancy car - but it was serviceable and a necessity for conducting library business. It has been evaluated that the cost of replacing the windows would be $3,000 dollars, not to mention what other damage may yet to be found. The car isn't even worth that amount, but it ran well and only had 25,000 miles on it. Apparently a truck that was also parked in the parking lot suffered broken windows, but was no longer on site when I arrived this morning.

This morning the children's librarian, Jessica Marie, was having the kids gather for the kick off at the library of the Summer Storytime Program. Jessica, I was told by her colleagues, handled the situation with great aplomb. Luckily, all of the glass and mess were confined to the back and side of the building so the children did not have to witness their dear library "beaten up" by bullies.

This sad little apple, once a librarian's snack and now left behind at the crime scene, just tugged at my heart. The library has been coasting along these last few years without any real infusion of money, trying to keep pace with the changing needs of its readers and community and considering joining the King County Library System just so that in years to come, they would be assured of having the financial support that they would need. They really don't need this kind of trouble - you know?

So, I'm thinking -

Anyone have a car they want to donate to the Library? Must be in good running condition. Let's start there for today, shall we?

KIRO News team was at the library just an hour ago interviewing Laurie Finalyson (and asking for her photos) as well as the head librarian, Bette Anderson. They were interviewed by Chris Legeros who said that the story would be featured on the 5pm and 6pm shows tonight.
Wow, Renton on the television twice in less than a month. Is this what has to happen to have the crime scene covered here in our little town of 80,000?

Side Note : Six people were found to be living under the Renton Public Library this morning, as well as at least 10 others under neighboring bridges that span the Cedar River. The library has gone to great efforts to make access to the area underneath difficult to gain access to, but apparently not difficult enough. When speaking with Laurie Finlayson, Reference Librarian, we discussed that the actions of vandalism on the library today did not ring true with a homeless person perpetrating the crime. You would think the food would have been gathered and not thrown, if that was the case. No - this was just a pure act of property violence.

Update: 6/25 The Renton Reporter says that two suspects were taken into custody that very same morning, one found underneath the library and another under a neighboring bridge with incriminating evidence on them - but no one seems to have said if they have been booked on charges for this crime. I asked today at the library about this and will ask again.

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Anonymous said...

the city has extra vehicles. none need to be donated.

Krissie said...

Hmm starts to wonder about this... I would have to talk to you about this in person though

Anonymous said...

what are he names of the vandalizers and did they have a previous criminal record and were they sex offender who were homeless so they didn't have to register?

Lady P said...

I will check on the availability of cars in the city, if what you say is true - great. Hopefully, it won't have to come out of the library's already stretched budget.

Do not know if those involved were sex offenders, and that that was the reason they were living under the bridge. There are often other reasons that lead people to find shelter, find themselves homeless.

Anaquita said...

Hey, I've been following this story. I feel bad for the library. :( Actually if you find out their names when they're charged (I'm sure it'll happen evetually, I think law enforcement has what... 48-72hours to do so? Anyhow I saw the video on, and..... one of the guys looked like someone I know. Maybe. Hard to tell on that sort of video, but I'm curious if it was his worthless ass. o.O

allaboutrenton said...

I wonder if the evidence was food or perhaps something to do with the Dewey Decimal system?

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