ARIZONA — Approximately 10,000 copies of The DailyWildcat, the official newspaper of the University of Arizona, were stolenaround 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8.
Wildcat Editor-in-Chief Alex Dalenberg estimated about 10,000 copiesof the paper were taken — the majority of the 13,000 copies printed daily.The police report does not include an exact number of how many papers weretaken.
Mike Spohn, advertising manager for student media at the University ofArizona, was the first person to report the crime to campus police at 8:40a.m.
According to the police report, the individuals involved were seen leavingthe scene of the crime in a 1990s model tan or beige Toyota Camry. The value ofthe papers taken was estimated to be between $2,500 and $4,000.
Dalenberg expressed concern that the thefts could possibly be an attempt atcensorship of The Wildcat.
“If you try to steal every copy of a paper, that’s a prettyblatant and deliberate attempt to silence the press,” he said.
Dalenberg said there are currently no definite leads in the case. He saidit was too early to point fingers or place blame, and he could not think of anycontent in the paper that would have motivated the crime.
The “edgiest” story printed in the paper was in the crimereport section, Dalenberg said, where a woman reported to the campus police thatshe was drugged at a frat party.
Robert Shelton, president of the University of Arizona, expresseddisappointment with the actions of the thieves.
“I find this theft to be outrageous and completely counter to theprinciples of freedom of expression that we embrace at the UA,” he said inan email to The Wildcat.
Juan Alvarez, the school’s public information officer, said the caseis currently closed, pending further information. He said in order for theinvestigation to continue, the school’s police department needs moreinformation on the suspects.
“There’s not a whole lot we can do,” Alvarez said.
Dalenberg said there are a number of reasons he is personally upset aboutthe theft.
“This is disappointing to our readers, because The DailyWildcat is part of people’s routine,” he said.”We’re part of people’s lives … if people are counting on[the paper] to be there and it’s not there, that’s a disruption inthe community.”
Dalenberg also said the staff of the paper would do all they could to tryto discover who was behind the thefts.
“If somebody is doing this to stop a story, they are about to besorely disappointed, because we’re going to have to retell their wholestory once we figure this out,” he said. “They picked a fight withthe wrong organization. We still buy our ink by the barrel.”