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Razor blades hidden in VCU bookstore designed to cut readers

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RICHMOND, Va. -- VCU Police alerted students and staff Thursday to a "potentially dangerous" situation discovered at the campus Barnes & Noble bookstore on West Broad Street.

Razor blades hidden in VCU books

Razor blades hidden in VCU books

"Barnes & Noble employees discovered a razor blade that had been strategically placed in a book in such a way as to cut whoever removed that book from the shelf," a VCU Police spokeswoman said. "Barnes & Noble also discovered a razor blade inside of another book last week."

No one was hurt in either incident.

"Barnes & Noble employees are actively checking all bookshelves and taking other measures to ensure that customers are safe," the police spokeswoman added. "VCU Police want to make community members aware of the incident so that they can use caution to avoid injury."

"Obviously, somebody is trying to hurt people," said VCU student Anthony Masih. "I'm happy I didn't take out that book. Happy somebody found it, too."

Razor blades hidden in VCU books

Razor blades hidden in VCU books

WTVR CBS 6 crews spotted campus police going in and out of the store on Thursday. They say the blade had been placed in such a way that it would injure whoever removed the book from the shelf. Police said this is the the second reported incident within a week.

As a result, police said employees are actively checking all bookshelves and taking other safety steps to protect customers.

Word is spreading to nearby bookstores.

"I think it's horrible," said Amanda Lewis, a manager at the Virginia Book Company. "Hopefully this is just an isolated incident."

Lewis said students have to show the staff their class schedules first and that their books are handed to customers over the counter to prevent thefts.

"If anything it makes me happier that we have a closed stack system because it allows our employees to look through materials before handing them off to customers to make sure there's nothing weird or dangerous inside of any of the used books," Lewis explained.

If you have information about the razor blade incidents that could help investigators, call VCU Police at 804-828-1234.