§ 11-41-14.1. Concealment of book or other property while on premises of library — Removal of book or other property from library.
(a) Whoever, without authority, with the intention of converting to his or her own or another’s use, willfully conceals a book or other library property, while still on the premises of the library, or willfully or without authority removes any book or other library property from any of the libraries or collections set forth in § 11-44-15, shall be deemed guilty of larceny, and upon, conviction, shall be punished as provided by § 11-41-5 and shall be ordered to make restitution to the library in the full retail value of the books or library property.
(b) Any person reasonably believed to have committed or to be committing the crime set forth in subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to detention by a police officer in accordance with § 12-7-1.
(c) Any employee or agent of a library, eighteen (18) years of age or older, who observes any person willfully concealing or attempting to conceal books or other library property on his or her person or amongst his or her belongings or upon the person or amongst the belongings of another, and leaving the premises with the books or other library property without first having an employee or agent record the removal of the property, or injuring or destroying books and other library property as set forth in § 11-44-15, may stop the person. Immediately upon stopping the person the library employee shall identify himself or herself and state the reason for stopping the person. If after the initial confrontation with the person under suspicion, the library employee has reasonable grounds to believe that at the time stopped the person was committing or attempting to commit the crime of larceny as set forth in this section or the misdemeanor set forth in § 11-44-15, the employee or agent may detain the person for a time sufficient to summon a police officer to the library. In no case shall the detention be for a period of more than one-half (½) hour. The detention must be accomplished in a reasonable manner without unreasonable restraints or excessive force, and may take place only on the premises of the library where the alleged crime occurred. Library premises includes the interior of a building, structure, or other enclosure in which a library facility is located, the exterior appurtenances to any building, structure, or enclosure, and the land on which the building, structure, or other enclosure is located. Any person so stopped by an employee or agent of a library shall promptly identify himself or herself by name and address. Once placed under detention, no other information shall be required of the person and no written and/or signed statement shall be elicited from him or her until a police officer has taken him or her into custody. The employee or agent may however examine, for the purposes of ascertaining whether any book or other library property has been properly checked out by the person, the property which the employee has reasonable grounds to believe were unlawfully taken in violation of this chapter or injured or destroyed in violation of chapter 44 of title 11. Should the person detained refuse to surrender the item for examination, a limited and reasonable search may be conducted. Only packages, shopping bags, handbags, or other property in the immediate possession of the person detained, but not including any clothing worn by the person, may be searched.
(d) For the purposes of this chapter, “reasonable grounds” includes knowledge that a person has concealed or injured a book or other library property while on the premises or is leaving the premises with the library property without having an employee of the library record the removal of the property from the premises.
(e) In detaining a person whom the employee or agent of the library has reasonable grounds to believe is committing the crime of larceny set forth in this chapter or the misdemeanor set forth in chapter 44 of title 11, the employee or agent may use a reasonable amount of non-deadly force when and only when that force is necessary to protect himself or herself or to prevent the escape of the person being detained or the loss of his or her property.
(f) In any civil action by a person detained under these sections against the library or employee or agent of the library so detaining him or her arising out of the detention, evidence that the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe that the plaintiff was at the time in question committing or attempting to commit the crime set forth in either section shall create a rebuttable presumption that the plaintiff was so committing or attempting to commit the crime.
History of Section.
P.L. 1983, ch. 296, § 2; P.L. 1985, ch. 436, § 1.