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Iowa Man Spends 10 Days in Jail for Overdue Library Books

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on September 12, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

One has to wonder whether Christopher Anspach, 28, of Newton, Iowa is a really slow reader, or just incapable of meeting deadlines.

The Pizza Hut employee has been sentenced to serve 10 days in jail for overdue library books and videos he failed to return for seven months, despite repeated phone calls and certified letters sent by the Newton Public Library.

Unfortunately, the court has not released a list of Anspach's library contraband.

That contraband, however, is listed in court documents as being 27 items worth a grand total of $770.67.

Such a high monetary value is sufficient enough for 3rd degree theft (a misdemeanor) in Iowa, which is defined as taking possession of property belonging to another with the intent to permanently deprive the other of that property.

Though Christopher Anspach initially took lawful possession of the library books and videos, his failure to return the items after repeated contact implies that he never intended to relinquish possession.

Remember, library books may be free, but they are still rentals.

Anspach eventually pleaded guilty to theft on August 31, and, earlier this week, was sentenced to 10 days in jail in addition to being ordered to pay restitution and a $625 fine, according to The Smoking Gun.

Hopefully that fine goes back to the library.

So let the story of Christopher Anspach be a lesson to all you library thieves out there--it is certainly possible to be arrested and sentenced to jail for overdue library books. And if you are, it's a lot costlier than you'd ever believe.

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