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Woman arrested for overdue library book

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A woman charged with theft after failing to return a book to an Iowa library said she believes her arrest was "extreme."

Shelly Koontz, 39, said she was arrested at her Independence home at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and charged with a misdemeanor count of fifth-degree theft for failing to return "The Freedom Writers Diary" to the Jesup Public Library after checking the book out in April, The (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) Gazette reported Monday.

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"I do think it's extreme going to jail over a library book," said Koontz, who was released from the Buchanan County Jail after posting $250 bond.

However, Koontz took responsibility for failing to return the book.

"It was my fault, and I should have had it back, but I was busy," she said.

The criminal complaint filed against Koontz said library employees contacted her with four phone calls, three letters and one certified letter informing her that she needs to return or pay for the book.

Koontz said the book was apparently lost during her family's recent move from Jesup to Independence but she would be glad to pay for the tome "or do whatever I need to do to make it right."

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"You have to have a sense of humor. Maybe I'll tell the judge I'm a slow reader," she said.

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