Book thief gets probation for stealing from library
GREELEY A Greeley woman who stole or helped steal hundreds of books from the Weld Library District and sold them back to a used bookstore will spend three years on intensive probation.Sara Jane Gutierrez, 20, was sentenced Monday and will also spend 120 hours doing community service. She pleaded guilty to theft and forgery in May.In January, the Weld Library District told Greeley police they suspected someone was using fake names to check out about 800 books.A Greeley police detective identified Gutierrez as a suspect, and she admitted obtaining library cards under different names. She would use magazines or pieces of mail to get someones name and address, and apply for a card under that name, according to her arrest affidavit.In the end, Gutierrez either used or helped others use 17 different names to check out the 800-odd books, which the library district estimated were worth $30,000. Gutierrez herself admitted to using 10 names to sell back 100 books, worth about $8,500.She sold the books to Hastings Books, Music & Video in Greeley. A Hastings store manager would not allow his name to be used for comment about the stores book-buying program.Hastings confirmed for police that Gutierrez sold a large number of books to the store. Greeley police have a warrant for a co-defendant, David Michael Garcia, 24, who Gutierrez told police was her boyfriend. The two would use bleach and glue to clean the library books so they could be sold to Hastings, according to Garcias warrant.Deputy District Attorney Matt Maillaro said Gutierrez was part of an apparent ring of people who fraudulently checked out the books and sold them back.She kept the money or split the money with these folks, Maillaro said.When she showed up for an evaluation by the probation department, Gutierrez tested positive for meth and marijuana use, though she denied that in court Monday. Gutierrez is also pregnant.She will have to complete parenting classes, substance abuse treatment and a mental health evaluation as part of her sentence.Prosecutors havent determined how much they will seek in restitution for the library district.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado
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