Port Library Victim of Gasoline Vandal
W.J. Niederkorn's book return closed for drop-offs Monday night after gasoline was poured into compartment; Port Washington police have no leads on suspect.
The outdoor book return at the W.J. Niederkorn Library will likely be closed for drop-offs again Tuesday night as library staff continue to work on getting rid of the smell of gasoline inside, according to Library Director David Nimmer said
The book return smells like gasoline because somebody filled the compartment with it sometime after 3 p.m. Sunday and before the library opened on Monday, according to a Port Washington police report.
"We’ve never had any vandalism at that scale at all … that’s a new thing," Nimmer said.
Nimmer said there has been "a lot of cleaning (and) scrubbing down" of the book return, but the stench still remains.
"If you throw things in there and it sits there all night — it’s going to smell really bad," he said.
Police did not find any matches or anything that indicated somebody tried to the light gasoline on fire; two books inside the compartment were ruined, leaving the library with a loss of about $40, according to the police report.
The Port Washington Police Department have no suspects for the crime, but Nimmer has requested amped up security to the area.
The gasoline scandal isn't the only thing disrupting the quiet at the library. Nimmer said a number of DVDs — despite being available for free rental — have been stolen from the library over the past weeks.
The DVDs stolen don't seem to trend toward a specific genre. While the library doesn't have a video surveillance system, Nimmer said that might be an option the building will pursue. In the meantime, he's hopeful community members and library visitors can help keep an eye out for possible suspects.