Lariat's entire press run goes missing

CALIFORNIA — The Saddleback College Lariat is distributing its papers late today after a pretty significant setback: Every single one of its 4,000 print issues disappeared last night.

Editor Phil Vogel said a printing company had left the papers outside The Lariat’s office last night, as is sometimes the custom. After discovering the loss, staff talked with the school’s maintenance crew, which confirmed this morning that they’d never touched them.

It’s a loss of about $500, he said, and he wasn’t sure if the paper would have to pay for a second printing.

“We talked to the campus police,” who said they’d investigate, Vogel said. “(But) I don’t even know what they can do.”

Saddleback College Police couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

Vogel said a few Lariat staff members checked nearby dumpsters, but weren’t sure what else they could do.

There wasn’t anything hugely controversial in the issue, Vogel said. The only thing slightly controversial in the issue was a front-page story about the limited security on campus at night, said Michele Hardy, a copy editor for the paper.

“It could be perceived as bashing,” Hardy said.

He thought someone might have stolen the papers in order to make money by recycling them all.

“Hopefully the suspect read at least one of them,” he said.

This is the ninth alleged newspaper theft reported to the Student Press Law Center in 2013, compared to 27 reports last year.

By Samantha Sunne, SPLC staff writer. Contact Sunne by email or at (703) 807-1904 ext. 123.