Library staff solves case of stolen skateboard

Call it HPL-CSI. That’s Homer Public Library-Crime Scene Investigators. 

In the case of a stolen skateboard, library staff last week screening security videos helped identify a person suspected of taking a 13-year-old boy’s custom, handmade, longboard-style skateboard. In a twist in the case, staff also noticed the suspect sitting at a computer while they screened the videos.

Homer Police last week charged Travis K. Catron, 21 with third-degree theft. After Sgt. Dave Shealy gave Catron 24-hour notice to return the longboard, Catron did so, Shealy wrote in a criminal complaint, and returned the stolen longboard to the boy. The longboard was worth about $125.

In Shealy’s complaint, he said that at about 4 p.m. July 10, the boy reported someone took his longboard from the library lobby. He’d left it in a coat rack area for about 5 minutes and found his longboard missing.

Police then asked library computer technicians to review security footage of that day.

Library director Ann Dixon said the library has several security cameras watching areas. To protect library users’ privacy, the footage can only be screened at police request. On July 11, techs reviewed the footage and saw a man taking the longboard. Staff also saw a man at a computer wearing the same clothing as the suspect in the video.

“It so happened he (the suspect) was in the library at the time,” Dixon said. “We called the police and they came and talked to him.”

Shealy contacted Catron and interviewed him. Catron said he took the longboard, but that a friend had asked him to pick it up for him. He then gave it to the friend. Shealy wrote that he reviewed the footage and it showed Catron walking away from the library with the longboard and stashing it in woods near the library. Shealy said it also appeared Catron looked back at the library numerous times as if he was doing something wrong.

Shealy then gave Catron the 24-hours notice to return the longboard, and he did so the evening of July 11, Shealy wrote.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

More in News

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Homer City Council candidate Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Traffic moves north along the Sterling Highway shortly after a fatal crash closed the highway for several hours Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. The state is seeking federal funding for a project aimed at improving safety along the Sterling Highway between mileposts 82.5 to 94, or between Sterling and Soldotna. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
State looks to federal funding for Sterling Highway project

The project is aimed at improving highway safety between Sterling and Soldotna.

Ethan Benton (left) and Laura Walters of Kodiak win the vaccine lottery for the Alaska Chamber's week one vaccine lottery giveaway "Give AK a Shot." (Screenshot)
State names winners in 1st vaccine lottery

A Valdez and Kodiak resident took home checks for $49,000 each.

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion
A podium marks the beginning of a StoryWalk at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The project was discontinued in August due to vandalism.
Vandalism ends Soldotna library program

The StoryWalk was made possible by a $2,500 donation from the Soldotna Library Friends.

Juneau Empire file
The Coast Guard medevaced a 90-year-old suffering stroke-like symptoms near Ketchikan aboard a 45-foot response boat-medium like this one, seen in Juneau, on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.
Coast Guard medevacs man from yacht near Ketchikan

The 90-year-old suffered symptoms of a stroke.

James Varsos, also known as “Hobo Jim,” poses for a photo during the August 2016, Funny River Festival in Funny River, Alaska, in August 2016. (Peninsula Clarion file)
‘Hobo Jim’ opens up about recent terminal cancer diagnosis

Varsos was named Alaska’s official “state balladeer” in 1994.

Most Read