SHIRLEY — Library Trustees met with police Chief Paul Thibodeau on Monday to discuss the recent breaking and entering incident at the Hazen Memorial Library.
The incident occurred on March 10, when an unknown perpetrator broke into the library and stole a small amount of cash from the library’s donations and fines drawer. The person is believed to have escaped through a window, Thibodeau said.
Partial fingerprints were obtained by crime scene services from the state on the evening of the theft. The fingerprints taken are not enough to hold up in court, Thibodeau said, but will allow police to identify a suspect.
As of Monday, Shirley police did not have a suspect, Thibodeau said. However, they have talked to two possible witnesses who gave a description of the suspect.
The police believe the person responsible for the theft did not break into the library, said Thibodeau, but rather hid in the library at closing before escaping through the window that was found open.
”By the looks of it, whoever did this knew what they were doing,” Thibodeau said.
”Obviously someone was paying attention to fines, donations (and) transactions that were going on,” said trustee Eileen Garcia-Smith.
”He may return when he thinks everybody would have forgotten about it,” Thibodeau said.
A motion detector has been added at the library, and new safety procedures have been implemented at closing time by staff, Director Debra Roy said.
The incident probably could not have been prevented, said Thibodeau.
The police plan to continue investigating the matter, he said.
”We continue to work on it,” he said, “We’ve talked to the people we have to.”
”Shirley enjoys a very high quality of life,” Thibodeau said, “(It has) a very low crime rate.”
Several people who were arrested on other charges have been questioned about the incident, according to Thibodeau, but none of them appear to know anything about the library incident.
Trustees agreed with Thibodeau that the loitering problem the library had been experiencing is better than it was prior to the incident.
”The word is out,” Thibodeau said.
Cameras that are scheduled to be installed at the library, Town Hall and middle school will allow police to monitor the area of the buildings remotely, but no definite date is set for their installation, Thibodeau said.
The cameras will be functional with available light, even in the evening after the lights in the parking lots are off.
A staff meeting was also held at the library to review the new safety procedures that have been put into place, Roy said.
Trustees commended Roy for her efforts to take preventative safety measures and maintain diligence in keeping the building secure.
”It’s sad that we have to do this,” Garcia-Smith said, “but (the closing procedure) is very prudent.”