Thieves steal thousands of student papers from University of North Texas

TEXAS — Thousands of copies of the North Texas Dailywere stolen from newspaper stands across the University ofNorth Texas campus Tuesday.

Marie Eschenfelder, editor of the Daily, said the 9,000missing copies of the paper — out of a 11,000-paper press run– will cost the Daily more than $3,000 in lost revenueand production costs.

Eschenfelder said she believes the theft may have been an attemptto prevent the distribution of a front-page story about localfraternity members who yelled racial slurs at a group of highschool football recruits touring the campus.

On Wednesday, the Daily reported that several eyewitnessessaid they saw students steal the newspapers.

Eschenfelder said she was "shocked" when she learnedabout the incident.

"At first I could not believe that someone would do somethinglike this," she said. "Before [10 a.m.] almost everyoneon campus knew [about the story], which would not have happenedif they had not stolen the papers. They really helped us morethan they hindered us."

Eschenfelder said she filed a police report as well as a writtencomplaint.

According to Sgt. Greg Prickett, of the criminal investigationssection of the North Texas Police Department, however, no criminalinvestigation will be pursued because the NT Daily is afree publication.

"There was no criminal offense," Prickett said. "Weput together an informational report and if we do find out whodid this, we will refer them to the dean of students for disciplinaryaction."

When asked about a similar incident in1995 where the Universityof Texas at Austin police department conducted a criminal investigationthat led to a charge of criminal theft against a student for taking5,800 copies of the Daily Texan, Prickett said he was unfamiliarwith that situation.