Around 8,000 papers stolen costing paper $6,500, editor says

KANSAS –Two men posing as newspaper staff members stole thousands of copies of a studentnewspaper today, claiming that a misprint in the newspaper required that all thepapers be recalled.

Officer Parrish Quick with the Kansas StateUniversity Police Department said the two suspects were seen taking copies ofthe Kansas State Collegian from a newsrack in the recreation center and driving away in a white sport utility vehicle,according to an article inthe student paper.

About 8,000 copies of the daily paper’s11,000 Friday press run were stolen, said Michael Ashford, Collegian managing editor. He estimatedthe paper lost about $6,500 in printing, staff and advertising costs as a resultof the theft.

”We’re actually kind of upset and stunnedthat something like this is going on,” Ashford said. ”It’sdisturbing that people feel that they need to take these kind ofactions.”

While police have not yet named any suspects, Ashfordsaid he believes members of the campus chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity ortheir supporters stole the paper because of an article in the issue aboutsanctions the fraternity faced due to substance abuse and hazingviolations.

A number of Sigma Chi officers did not return phone callsseeking comment.

Collin Hull, the fraternity’s pledge trainer,said he was asleep at the time the papers were stolen.

When asked ifanyone would comment on the fraternity’s alleged involvement in the theft,Hull said, ”I don’tthink any of the guys in the house will comment onthat.”

So far the paper has filed a report withuniversity police and they are in the process of talking with universityadministrators to publicly condemn the theft, Ashford said.

”It took us about four months to get the storyfinished,” he said. ”They were sanctioned in November 2005 and theyrefused to talk with us. We were kind of at a roadblock until we got ananonymous letter detailing the sanctions.

”We’re hopingto set up another meeting with campus police and get something worked out withthe administration to let people know this will not and should not betolerated.”