Around 8,000 papers stolen costing paper $6,500, editor says

KANSAS -- Two men posing as newspaper staff members stole thousands of copies of a student newspaper today, claiming that a misprint in the newspaper required that all the papers be recalled.

Officer Parrish Quick with the Kansas State University Police Department said the two suspects were seen taking copies of the Kansas State Collegian from a news rack in the recreation center and driving away in a white sport utility vehicle, according to an article in the student paper.

About 8,000 copies of the daily paper's 11,000 Friday press run were stolen, said Michael Ashford, Collegian managing editor. He estimated the paper lost about $6,500 in printing, staff and advertising costs as a result of the theft.

''We're actually kind of upset and stunned that something like this is going on,'' Ashford said. ''It's disturbing that people feel that they need to take these kind of actions.''

While police have not yet named any suspects, Ashford said he believes members of the campus chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity or their supporters stole the paper because of an article in the issue about sanctions the fraternity faced due to substance abuse and hazing violations.

A number of Sigma Chi officers did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Collin Hull, the fraternity's pledge trainer, said he was asleep at the time the papers were stolen.

When asked if anyone would comment on the fraternity's alleged involvement in the theft, Hull said, ''I don't think any of the guys in the house will comment on that.''

So far the paper has filed a report with university police and they are in the process of talking with university administrators to publicly condemn the theft, Ashford said.

''It took us about four months to get the story finished,'' he said. ''They were sanctioned in November 2005 and they refused to talk with us. We were kind of at a roadblock until we got an anonymous letter detailing the sanctions.

''We're hoping to set up another meeting with campus police and get something worked out with the administration to let people know this will not and should not be tolerated.''

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