ISU student arrested in book sting at library

Ross Boettcher and James Heggen

An ISU student was arrested Thursday in a sting operation carried out in the Parks Library, according to a news release from the ISU Police.

Andrew Lehman, sophomore in civil engineering, was seen by ISU Police taking a book from a decoy book bag in the library Thursday afternoon, according to the release.

ISU Police Lt. Aaron DeLashmutt said the police carried out the sting because of the high number of textbook thefts reported this semester.

“We just noticed the frequency this semester,” DeLashmutt said. “We’ve had them before, but it just really seemed to be frequent compared to semesters and years in the past.”

He said the theft of textbooks is common on campus.

“It’s really common – usually at the beginning and the end of each semester because of buyback, it’s really common. Thefts in general are usually up at the beginning of the semester,” he said.

DeLashmutt said the library was not aware the sting operation was being performed.

“With it being a public place and things, we just tend to try to keep as few people as we can in the know about it. There’s just less chance of blowing our cover,” he said.

DeLashmutt said whether or not the police inform those in charge of the area of the sting “depends on the situation.”

After the sting took place, the police searched Lehman’s dorm, where 20 additional textbooks were found, DeLashmutt said. Along with the decoy, one more stolen book was found with Lehman Thursday, he said. According to a news release, a stolen iPod and calculator were also found.

DeLashmutt said it is believed that the thefts had been taking place since the beginning of the semester.

“We were real happy that we were able to, hopefully, put a stop to this series of thefts,” DeLashmutt said.

Lehman, when contacted, declined to comment.