December 7, 2013 in City

Gonzaga graduate suspected of stealing textbooks

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A recent Gonzaga University graduate found with more than 1,000 textbooks thought to have been taken from school libraries may have been illegally selling them online, authorities say.

Han Tun Oo, 23, was arrested on a burglary charge Nov. 12 after authorities say he trespassed in Gonzaga libraries. The school banished Oo from both the Foley Center Library and the Chastek Law Library after he was discovered multiple times in October attempting to leave school grounds with several textbooks he hadn’t checked out tucked away in a backpack. Oo had been seen stacking books in the library, scanning them with an iPad and scribbling down titles and prices onto a sheet of paper before he was arrested, according to witnesses.

A subsequent search of Oo’s nearby apartment revealed a total of 1,200 textbooks, according to court documents. Oo told police he’d stolen just 10 textbooks that he sold over the Internet. Those stacked in his apartment had white numbered tabs emerging from the pages, officers wrote, similar to the numbering system used in the law library. Also discovered were packaging materials and addressed envelopes. Authorities later confirmed the books belonged to both the Foley and law libraries.

Library employees have been contacted by third parties saying they’d bought books belonging to Gonzaga and records of those transactions contained information linking to Oo. The titles listed as missing from both libraries are valued in the thousands of dollars.

Oo told police he’d graduated from Gonzaga with a degree in finance earlier this year. He was arrested again just a few days after the search of his apartment for leading police on a chase on Interstate 90, during which police say the black Ford Mustang he was driving topped speeds of 90 mph.

Oo is in the Spokane County Jail on the burglary charge as well as reckless driving and attempting to elude police. Investigators are scouring bank records to determine if trafficking stolen property will be added to the charges. An arraignment in his case is scheduled for next week.

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