Thieves looking for scrap metal often target vacant houses, abandoned buildings and construction sites. And lately, they've gone to more extreme measures to pilfer valuable metal.
Sometime last week, the William H. Hall Free Library was the victim of such a theft.
Someone stole the railings from the front and rear of the building and police are investigating.
Ed Garcia, director of the city's library system, told WPRI that eight railings were taken either last Thursday evening or Friday morning.
The railings are a composite of brass and copper and library officials aren't sure how much they're worth. They do know it would cost thousands to replace them with the same material, so a cheaper substitute will have to be used.
Branch Manager John Bucci told WPRI "You think you're a public building. You think you're safe from these kinds of things. But you find that during these economic times, people are really desperate enough to attack anything."