Man charged with stealing textbooks, fleeing police

Beth Wilberding

It was a textbook theft, a campus police report said.

A man was arrested on Friday and charged with stealing from University Bookstore and leading campus police in a car chase.

Robert Lou Schraeder Jr. of Mechanicvkie, Md., has been charged with unlawful taking over $300, six counts of wanton endangerment, fleeing or evading police and eight traffic violations.

Schraeder was being held yesterday at Warren County Regional Jail on $50,000 bond.

Almost $1,000 in textbooks was found in Schraeder’s 2002 Mercury Marquis.

The chase started on Big Red Way and ended on Kentucky Street and 11th Street.

Campus police Capt. Mike Wallace said there were “close calls,” but no injuries from the chase.

Bookstore employee Jennifer Whipple said coworker Layne Greene saw Schraeder stick a textbook down his pants.

She followed him out of the store and confronted him in front of Downing University Center. Whipple said she was also outside and alerted campus police officer Michael Miociotto.

Schraeder returned the textbook Greene saw him steal and apologized. But when she asked to see the receipt for books he had in his backpack, Schraeder ran for his car parked in Diddle lot.

“We were behind the car trying to get the license plate number and he took off,” Whipple said.

She said Miociotto approached the vehicle, but Schraeder drove away.

“We saw him pull out of the Diddle parking lot, and we heard a really loud crash,” Whipple said. “A couple seconds later we saw a WKU police officer in a car go after him.”

After pulling onto Big Red Way, Schraeder hit a minivan, then ran a traffic signal and turned right onto University Boulevard.

Schraeder’s car nearly hit campus police officer Pete Rich, who was stopping traffic at the Diddle Arena entrance, according to a campus police report.

Schraeder ran another traffic signal and then continued on Kentucky Street, where he crashed and was arrested by campus police.

The police report did not say what Schraeder’s car crashed into.

Campus police found 44 textbooks valued at $994.94, Wallace said.

Wallace said the bookstore normally doesn’t have much trouble with theft.

“There’s the the occasional shop lifter, but normally security is pretty good over there,” Wallace said.

The bookstore evaluates and updates its security every year, Wallace said. They also ask campus police to “assess” their security procedures.

“They take every reasonable precaution that they can,” Wallace said. “Occasionally, things like that happen.”

Reach Beth Wilberding at [email protected]