Book Thief Had Guns, Brass Knuckles: Police

Woman failed to return thousands of books and DVDs, police say.

By Lauren Steussy
|  Friday, Sep 16, 2011  |  Updated 9:20 AM PDT
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Book Thief Had Guns, Brass Knuckles: Police

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A woman suspected of running a book-theft crime ring was found to possess over 40 firearms and a set of brass knuckles.

Maria Nater, 44, was arrested Sept. 6 after police served a search warrant at her Vista home. They were looking for thousands of stolen library books and DVDs from Carlsbad and San Diego public libraries.

When police raided her home, they found 43 guns and rifles of several sizes, calibers, types and makers – some without proper paperwork, according to our media partner, the North County Times.

Police believe the weapons probably belonged to Nater’s Husband, Fernando, 42, who prosecutors say is a former member of the military who works in Los Angeles.

Nater, 44, pleaded not guilty to felony charges of burglary and receiving stolen property last week. She was freed on a $40,000 bail.

Libraries were noticing significant book-loss between March and July of this year, and reported the loss to the police department.

Police began investigating Nater after she and her two young children set off an alarm at Carlsbad's Cole Library in July. Nater attempted to walk out with a cart full of cooking and crafting books, the NCT reported.

Nater's next court date is set for Oct. 7 at San Diego County Superior Court in Vista.
 

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