Newspaper theft at Okla. community college may go unpunished

OKLAHOMA — A newspaper theft atOklahoma City Community College appears to be ending with no charges, eventhough the culprits were seen onsecurity cameras.

According to ThePioneer, Lab Director Ronna Austin identified Tori Parks, 24, and Michelle Caraway, 25, on recordings dumping at least200 student newspapers from stands Monday, shortly after Austin refused to remove a story about the two women from thepaper’s website.

Austinis a college staffmember who monitors workflow in the newsroom. She addressed Parks and Caraway’sconcerns because Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Cloud was unavailable.

Austin filed a police report Monday,but collegespokesman Cordell Jordan said campus police will not be pursuing any criminalcharges because of a lack of personnel. Since the newspapers are free and theones taken were almost two weeks old at the time, he said it would be unwise tohave the college’s small police department investigate the matter.

The Pioneer will not be pursuing legalaction but may take the matter to student affairs, Austin said.Jordan said police consulted with the district attorney and have decided not topursue the case; the district attorney’s office had no record of a consultation and could not comment.

Newspaper staffer Joey Stipeksaid Parks and Caraway were concerned their names had been published and thatthey would lose their jobs because of the article.

Parksand Caraway did not respond to attempts to contact them.

TheApril 13 issue carried a story about a domestic dispute between Parks and her husband. Parks had been stayingwith Caraway for two weeks at the time.

Accordingto a Pioneer story about the newspaperdump, Austin said she offered to change the story if it was factuallyinaccurate, but both women declined.

CORRECTION 4/27: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the newspaper had decided not to take theft to student affairs, due to source error. Austin said the newspaper has not yet made a decision.