Oregon man searching for work accused of stealing from new job
Charles Gray was desperate for work when he was featured in a newspaper article about unemployment.
The Associated Press
LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. — Charles Gray was desperate for work when he was featured in a newspaper article about unemployment.
The research librarian told The Oregonian in a 2003 article that he didn't know the state's economy was so bad when he and his wife decided to move here from Florida in 2001.
Frustrated with his fruitless search, Gray placed newspaper ads that said "I want a job!" He even wore a clown suit as he handed out business cards in downtown Portland.
Gray, 60, of Lake Oswego eventually found work, but his prospects for future library employment have dimmed.
Gray was arrested Tuesday on accusations he stole more than 1,000 library books, CDs and videotapes from libraries in Clackamas and Washington counties and sold them on the Internet.
Gray, a part-time worker at the Clackamas County library information network and the Tigard Public Library, sold at least $10,000 worth of library materials online in the past six months, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.
According to Jim Strovink, a sheriff's office spokesman, Gray would check out books, then tap into the library computer system and record them as returned.
As the operation grew, Gray used a second name to help cover his trail. Gray would also scan the Internet to find out what items were in demand and then go to the library to check them out.
Sheriff's deputies and Lake Oswego police searched Gray's home Tuesday and said they found 700 library books, CDs and videotapes. He was taken to Clackamas County Jail on accusations of theft and computer crime and later released.
"I need to let it run its course here before I do any commenting on it," Gray said Wednesday.
Authorities said Gray had no previous criminal record.
Joanna Rood, manager of the Clackamas County library network, described the Gray's alleged actions as "kind of a betrayal."
"Libraries are part of the community," she said. "It is the one place where you can go, and the resources are there for everyone."
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