Two charged with vandalizing Fairbanks library

Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Two men were charged with vandalizing and ransacking the main Fairbanks library early Wednesday, causing at least $5,000 damage.

Alerted by a silent alarm, police surrounded the Noel Wien Public Library and arrested Michael L. Riley, 18, and Jason B. Nathaniel, 21. Each was charged with second-degree burglary and second-degree criminal mischief.

Library officials said they are still adding up damage.

''They rifled through a lot of desks, opened a lot of drawers looking for something, I guess,'' library director Greg Hill said. ''They started tearing up computers at some point, ripped keys off keyboards, broke three monitors.''

That's on top of broken window used to gain entry and the $150 or so taken from a library till.

The attack was the second in less than nine months. In October vandals caused about $4,000 damage. In that case, a ''shatter alarm'' installed after a prior break-in did not work.

The alarm worked Wednesday at 3:26 a.m. When officers and Alaska State Troopers arrived, they saw the suspects inside the library, Fairbanks Police Sgt. Jim Geier said.

The library also has motion detectors, so police knew where the suspects were, Hill said.

Aside from plywood covering a broken window, Hill said, the public should not notice much else from the break-in. Much of the damage occurred in areas used mostly by library staff.

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