A St. Paul woman is accused of creating library cards for 24 imaginary children in order to steal thousands of dollars in video games and DVDs from the Ramsey County library system.
22-year-old Nhia Vue has been charged in Ramsey County District Court with one count of theft.
The Star Tribune reports that Vue checked out 50 video games, 41 DVDs and 21 books from different Ramsey County public library branches between May 13 and June 4. The value of those items is just over $4,100.
Vue allegedly had 25 library cards, 24 of them were in the names of different children she had claimed to have.
The Star Tribune report says Vue pawned 46 games and 22 DVDs, some of those items were recovered by police and showed signs of tampering. Police allegedly recovered more than two dozen DVDs that belonged to the county library during a search of her home in June.
"I didn't look at it as stealing," Vue is quoted in the Star Tribune. "I looked at it as borrowing. I thought I could pay them back on my taxes."
Stealing from libraries is nothing new, but with computer systems libraries are more able to be on the lookout for potential thieves.
In Minnesota, anyone who keeps overdue library materials for more than 60 days after being sent written notification to return it is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.