Kent's Book-Ripper is Becoming More Active

By Gary Cutlack on at

A person who enjoys tearing book pages in half and putting them back on shop shelves is being hunted in the Kent town of Herne Bay, with the ripper striking at titles in a charity shop and now moving on to attack books in the local library. The real worry is that a WHSmith is just 6.71 miles away in Canterbury.

Nick Rogers is the manager of Herne Bay charity shop Demelza, and first noticed the damage being done to his stock several months ago. He said: "We initially had the odd book getting torn, which we dismissed as being children or someone trying to prank us. But in the last couple of months, we've been finding about 10 or 15 a week. They can be worth anything up to £3. We wouldn't sell a book with one ripped page, but in some of them it's all the pages."

Herne Bay library is being targeted by this enemy of all books too, with staff informing police when it discovers torn pages  and analysis of its CCTV banks underway for clues. Ryan Campbell, who's the chief exec of Demelza's charity group is concerned about the wellbeing of the local ripper, and said: "This is very systematic; it's quite an anonymous, private thing to do, and it's not the action of a happy person. So it makes you think a little bit about who's doing this and why they feel the need to do it and what's going on in their lives." [Kent Online via Guardian]