Missing papers returned

John Hult

John Hult

On Tuesday evening, Feb. 25, like every Tuesday evening, Michael Pecha and Balaji Podapoti rolled across campus delivering newspapers in a SDSU motor pool van.

Outside of a bit of cold wind, nothing about the evening seemed to be amiss.

They dropped off 4,000 copies of the SDSU Collegian to several on-and off-campus locations and went home.

Just like always.

When George Nelson arrived at the USU for work at 6 a.m. the following morning, everything seemed in order as well. He saw a stack of 300 newspapers piled high on the south end of the USU breezeway.

Just like always.

But when Justin Larson, who was ready for a long first day of SA elections, walked through the Union doors at 6:45 a.m., he noticed something strange.

There were no newspapers on the rack.

As it turns out, students looking for a copy of the Collegian that morning were lucky to find one anywhere.

Inquiries made by Editor-In-Chief Kara Christensen and reporter Hallie Thomas revealed that about 2,300 papers were missing from the NFA-Rotunda Breezeway, Scobey Hall, the Administration Building, Ag Hall, Medary Commons and Binnewies, Brown, Waneta, Pierson and Matthews Halls.

“I was disappointed when I found out because my staff and I spent a lot of time putting it together,” Christensen said.

Press releases concerning the theft were circulated to the Argus Leader, the Associated Press, the Brookings Register, KSFY, and KELO.

A small news crew from KSFY arrived at the Collegian office around 4 p.m. to interview Christensen.

By 4:45, however, an anonymous tip to UPD Chief Tim Heaton revealed the location of over half of the missing papers. They were in a dumpster just outside of Godfather’s Pizza.

Christensen received a call at around 10:45 from a man who told her that the rest of the Collegians were in a garbage bag just outside the USU.

“I was relieved to have the newspapers back,” she said. “It meant that our readers would get the information.”

Heaton did not immediately return phone calls regarding the investigation, although a source at the UPD confirmed that a report had been filed.

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Doug Wermedal said that any rulings from his office would be made after the case goes through the criminal courts.

“It’s possible that individuals could be held responsible,” he said. “It’s possible organizations could be held responsible. It’s possible that both could be held responsible.”

He did say that no one would receive expulsion for the theft.

If you have any information regarding the theft, please send an E-mail to [email protected].