Newspaper Thieves Take, Burn Maryland College Paper

Newspaper thieves at Goucher College took several hundred copies of the Quindecim, the school's student paper and set fire to other stacks of the paper following the publication of a front-page article regarding problems with the school's student government.

While no one has claimed responsibility for the acts and newspaper staffers acknowledge that there were other stories in the Feb. 23 issue that might have prompted the thefts, editors feel it was the student government article, which was part of a series of critical stories about the organization, that prompted the theft.

Baltimore County and Goucher College police are investigating the incident.

Maryland is the only state in the country that has passed a specific law targeted at newspaper theft. Thieves in other states have been prosecuted under existing criminal laws.

In the past few months, thousands of student newspapers have been stolen across the country. Student papers at the University of Missouri and California State University at Sacramento are among the most recent targets. In February, university police apprehended two Brigham Young University students who admitted to stealing 10,000 copies -- over half the press run -- of the BYU's student newspaper, The Daily Universe.