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Oscar-nominated Writer Pleads Innocent To Charges He Stole Library Books

October 4, 1988

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) _ Novelist and Oscar-nominee Jerry Gustav Hasford pleaded innocent Monday to felony charges he stole thousands of books from libraries in the United States and England.

Hasford, 41, of San Clemente pleaded innocent to two counts of grand theft and a single charge of possession of stolen property.

Superior Court Judge Harry Woolpert set a Dec. 5 trial date and ordered pre-trial hearings to begin on Dec. 1.

Hasford shared an Academy Award nomination for best screenplay adaptation for ″Full Metal Jacket,″ a 1987 movie based on his novel ″The Short- Timers.″

Prosecutors contend Hasford stole more than $20,000 worth of books from libraries in London, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, St. Louis and Longview, Wash., said Deputy District Attorney Teresa Estrada-Mullaney.

Campus police at California State Polytechnic University here served Hasford with a search warrant on March 17. They were looking for 87 books overdue on his library card.

The officers discovered about 10,000 books, allegedly stolen and stashed in a rented storage unit. Prosecutors have not tried to explain what motive Hasford may have had. The books are believed to have been checked out or stolen from as many as 70 libraries worldwide.

The books were primarily Civil War research volumes, Ms. Estrada-Mullaney said.

The charges relate only to a portion of those 10,000 books. It is unlikely Hasford will be charged in connection with the remainder of the books, she said.

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