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Free Library BookBot Stolen From Michigan Neighborhood

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Young neighbor Isabel McNamara got to choose the first book from her neighborhood's new BookBot last month. (Handout photo/Lynn Contos)

Young neighbor Isabel McNamara got to choose the first book from her neighborhood’s new BookBot last month. (Handout photo/Lynn Contos)

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OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A Little Free Library designed to look like a robot has been stolen from its roadside home in southwestern Michigan.

The former Kalamazoo Gazette newspaper box was originally made into a robot character by Plainwell artist Steve Curl, MLive.com reported.

It stood in front of a Kalamazoo hotel dispensing newspapers before being acquired by Oshtemo branch library aide Lynn Contos.

She commissioned Curl to renovate his artwork for use as a neighborhood lending library. BookBot was put into service on Sept. 28 outside Contos’ home, but Contos went outside Saturday morning to find it missing along with its books and a Little Free Library sign.

“I live in a somewhat off the beaten path … neighborhood, so there isn’t much traffic other than neighbors,” Contos said. “The thief stole from me, Steve Curl, the artist who made him. and all the patrons who enjoyed the books BookBot shared with them.”

The 5-foot-tall BookBot was filled with books for all ages, available for anyone to help themselves to take a book and leave a book.

Contos described the sculpture as heavy, likely requiring a pickup truck, large SUV or trailer to haul away from her home.

The theft has been reported to the Kalamazoo County sheriff’s department.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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