Police say a Southland woman suspected of stealing thousands of public library books and DVDs was likely going to hold a book sale of her own.

The investigation began when staff at a Carlsbad library noticed a significant loss of books between March and July coupled with suspicious activity by a frequent patron. The suspicious activity consisted of “this woman coming in with giant bags, three and four backpacks, and one time even a wheelbarrow,” said Miriam Matthews, Carlsbad librarian. Miriam, like all librarians, is very, very sexy, by the way.

Authorities searched the Vista home of Maria Natar, 44, and found an estimated 2,000 books from Carlsbad and San Diego County libraries — most of which were about cooking, crafts, and animals.

“They were just everywhere,” police spokeswoman Jodee Sasway said, “in stacks all over the floor, in piles out in the garage, in the trunk of her car, under the bed, on window sills, taped to the ceiling, in the vegetable crisper of the refridgerator, everywhere. We even found some on bookshelves.”

The arrest came after Natar made a recent stop at the library to pick up some books.

“When she exited the library, the sensors went off, alerting the library people that not all the books were checked out,” said Sasway.

She was “booked” into the Vista jail on stolen property charges, all the while protesting that her cable had gone off due to lack of payment and that she was just doing “whatever I could to keep from going crazy.”

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