SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Police confiscated 30,000 books from a man arrested on suspicion of stealing them from area libraries.

''They run the whole gamut - Westerns, mysteries, classics, science fiction, everything,'' said South St. Paul police Capt. David Vujovich.

The man, believed to be in his 40s, was arrested Wednesday shortly after driving away from a South St. Paul library. Police found about 350 books in his car.

Later, they discovered piles and piles of books at his apartment and in two lockers at a storage rental business in St. Paul, Vujovich said. Police originally said they had confiscated about 12,000 books.

The books carry labels from six different library systems. Some were taken as long ago as 1984.

Authorities said they began to investigate about a week ago, when South St. Paul library officials complained they were missing about $1,100 worth of science fiction books. Police staked out the library Wednesday.

Police do not believe the suspect was selling the books but don't have a motive.

Vujovich also said he didn't know how the suspect was able to get the books since most libraries use a magnetic detection system to catch thieves.

The suspect was being held at the South St. Paul jail.