"Last fall we had an incident with an organized, outside group," said Bookstore Director Katie Lee. "It was an individual who was strategically taking books. He had a list of ISBNs that he was targeting, and if you lose 10 or 15 $200 books, that costs a lot of money."
The thief was caught when Bookstore employees noticed the man behaving suspiciously and called the police.
"The fellow was not student age," Lee said. "He would go and find books and then go and stick them under the clothing section. He'd go back and keep retrieving books, and our staff saw that."
Police caught the thief, but could not track the stolen textbooks, which had been mailed to a third party.
Lee said this is the first time she's arranged for security to guard the store, and she hopes it will act as a deterrent for similar behavior from other outside parties.
"It's an experiment," Lee said. "I don't feel that the store has a problem, in general, with merchandise leaving without being paid for. Auburn has a very honest, good student body, and I think most people who come here know that buying textbooks is a part of their education and want to make that investment."