Eagle Point resident indicted on charges tied to book thefts

The Eagle Point man accused of stealing nearly 400 books from multiple local libraries has been indicted on felony robbery and theft charges and is barred from all Rogue Valley book lenders while he awaits trial.

A Jackson County grand jury on Tuesday indicted Christopher Earl Storrer, 24, on charges of third-degree robbery, first-degree theft, second-degree theft, first-degree criminal mischief and second-degree criminal mischief.

Last week, police searched Storrer's home in the 5000 block of Butte Falls Highway and found hundreds of stolen library books, many of them vandalized, they said.

Jackson County Deputy District Attorney Allan Smith said the robbery charge could stem from an implied threat made as Storrer allegedly was caught stealing books from Southern Oregon University's Hannon Library.

The case against Storrer began when police investigated the theft and vandalism of library books from SOU. Three thefts were reported in May.

Their break came when Storrer triggered a security alarm as he exited the SOU library July 26, police said.

Storrer allegedly threatened an SOU employee who tracked him down.

Smith said Storrer had wide-ranging reading tastes.

"From what I know, most of the books found in his house were philosophy and political philosophy," Smith said. "It was a fairly eclectic collection."

Ashland police named a few of the books as being "The Grand Design," co-written by physicists Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow; "The Archaeology of Knowledge" by Michel Foucault; "Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present" by Cynthia Stokes Brown; and "The Open Work," by Umberto Eco.

Attempts to reach Storrer for comment this week were unsuccessful.

On his Facebook page, Storrer lists his musical interests as jazz age guitar legend Django Reinhardt and Stephen Malkmus, the primary singer and songwriter from the influential indie rock band Pavement.

His Facebook page shows he supports libertarian political causes and Wikileaks. He also supports non-profits such as 4-H and the Bear Creek Greenway Foundation.

Storrer listed his graduate school as "home" on his Facebook profile.

There was no indication that Storrer planned to sell the books he reportedly stole. The library bar codes were removed, severely curbing their worth on the auction market.

"I have seen a lot of theft cases, but none quite like this," Smith said.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471; or email cconrad@mailtribune.com.

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