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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Paper theft not new to UA

Robert T. Zavala displays the 12,000 stolen Arizona Daily Wildcat Newspapers taken April 7, 1987 that were admittedly stolen by members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. The Arizona Daily Wildcat pressed charges and the Tucson Police Department began its investigation, including arrests, the next day while the UA Dean of Students also took disciplinary action.

We’re probably all familiar with the theft of at least 10,000 copies of the Arizona Daily Wildcat from newsstands on Oct. 8, a crime costing Arizona Student Media $8,500 in printing costs, advertising and salaries.

But, as so often happens, a look through the Daily Wildcat back issues shows that everything new is actually old – history repeats itself. Twenty-two years ago, at least 12,500 copies of the Arizona Daily Wildcat were stolen off the loading docks of the newspaper’s printer.

Mirroring the events of the present, a fraternity, Kappa Sigma, stood accused of the crime.

Kappa Sigma’s president, however, admitted his fraternity’s involvement in the crime.

What follows is the original article, “”Frat members admit to theft of Wildcats,”” written by Paul G. Allvin, and printed in the April 8, 1987, issue of the Daily Wildcat.

• • •

About 12,500 copies of yesterday’s Arizona Daily Wildcat were stolen from the paper’s printer, and the president of the Kappa Sigma fraternity admitted that 11 members of his organization took the newspapers.

“”The individuals involved with the incident did so on their own accord and in no way was it sanctioned by the chapter nor should it be construed as a house activity,”” said Robert T. Zavala, a University of Arizona astronomy junior and president of the 38-member fraternity.

Officials from the Wildcat and its printer, the Tucson Shopper, said they will press felony charges.

Production costs and advertising refunds alone will cost the Wildcat $6,040, said Clyde D. Lowery, executive director of University of Arizona Student Publications and adviser to the Wildcat. About 18,500 copies of the Wildcat had been printed, he said, adding that the Shopper printed 6,000 more after the theft was discovered.

At least three cars arrived at the loading docks of the Shopper between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. to pick up the copies of the Wildcat, Lowery said. A person in a black Volkswagen Rabbit told a Shopper employee that the driver who delivers the papers had taken the day off, and that they were taking his place.

Shortly before 8 a.m., the Shopper realized the paper had been stolen when the actual driver contacted them.

A shopper employee gave the Tucson Police Department the first three characters of the out-of-state license plate on one of the cars involved in the theft, Lowery said.

Police said they traced the car to an 18-year-old business and public administration freshman, a resident of the Kappa Sigma house, 430 N. Cherry St. When police arrived at the house, fraternity members told them the student was not home.

TPD officer Francis Jordan said the investigation is continuing and he expects arrests today.

Lowery said he and officials from the Shopper will meet with the freshman and Zavala today.

“”It cost us a lot of money and a lot of aggravation, so I don’t think we’re going to be able to talk things out,”” Lowery said.

Zavala said that the members stole the Wildcats because the chapter had run a classified personal advertisement a week too early, and they thought stealing the papers would be a better alternative to retracting the ad.

“”A few guys thought it would be funny if they grabbed some of the papers, and that was their logic,”” Zavala said. “”I found out this morning when someone dumped a bag of papers in my room.””

UA Dean of Students Rosalind E. Andreas said fraternity members and their house could face suspension from the university.

Christine A. Donnelly, the Wildcat editor-in-chief, said, “”I find it really infuriating that the students took the law so lightly … they never took into account the repercussions of their actions … I have no sympathy for that kind of stupidity.””

“”A lot of people called wondering where the Wildcat was, and I’m sorry that our readers and advertisers were inconvenienced,”” Donnelly added.

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