Police recover stolen textbooks

UNA police discovered Tennessee resident John Beaumont Jones in possession of stolen property June 16 after receiving a call about a suspicious figure on the fourth floor of the Science and Technology Building.

“We were alerted by one of the custodial staff that there was a person in the science building that they did not recognize,” said Chief of Police Kevin Gillilan. “Sgt. Ed Rhodes and Officer Jessie Pollard responded to the building and encountered a male suspect who was leaving the building quickly and trying to get out of the parking lot.”

The officers found around 50 stolen textbooks in his car, with most of the textbooks coming from the Criminal Justice Department and the Communications Department, Gillilan said.

The textbooks are currently in the police evidence locker, and they will stay there until the case is over, Rhodes said.

The police charged Jones with trespassing, possession of burglary tools and theft of stolen property, Gillilan said.

“Right now there is (no punishment) as there might be more charges pending the investigation,” Rhodes said. “I initially arrested him for criminal trespassing.”

Gillilan said this arrest could provide the answer to other textbook theft cases.

“We’re still contacting several places, one of which is University of Alabama-Huntsville who also had some books stolen from their campus a few weeks back,” he said.

Since the investigation is still pending, officials have not set a trial date.