ROCK HILL — The same man who has allegedly stolen textbooks from Winthrop University over the past three years eluded police on Monday when he tried getting away with several textbooks and then ran onto a fire escape, authorities say.
At about 2:30 p.m., Winthrop police were sent to the Withers Building on Myrtle Drive after staff members reported that an unidentified man walked into the building’s Instructional Technology Center and tried to steal textbooks that had not yet been approved by the state Board of Education, but were on display for public review, according to a Winthrop police report.
The suspect managed to leave the center as officers arrived, the report states. Police reviewed surveillance video and later saw a man matching the same description leaving the Withers building towards the Macfeat Early Childhood Laboratory School facing Eden Terrace, the report states. Before police could confront him, the man “ducked into the alcove” leading to a nearby fire escape. An officer chased the man, climbing up a set of stairs before realizing that the man escaped through the unlocked emergency door.
Police were unable to find the man, who left behind a blue backpack in the center, the report states. Police found three government and history textbooks inside, the report states. They also found four more textbooks that had been removed. The books together are worth more than $400. A staff member told police that the man has taken textbooks from the technology center several times over the past three years. Police were not made aware of any of the previous thefts.
In an unrelated incident, police say someone stole 100 books worth more than $8,000 from the Barnes & Noble at York Technical College in Rock Hill.
Officers on Monday were sent to the college after an employee reported that 100 books were taken sometime between Sunday and last Wednesday, according to a Rock Hill police report. The books were a set of 20.
The missing books include history, math, sociology and portable books, all together worth $8,042, the report states. No suspect information was available.