Student turns self in for stealing over 1,300 newspapers

TEXAS-- The Texas Christian University student who thought the student newspaper, the Daily Skiff, is better recycled than read awaits judgment from the university's judicial review board after dumping more than 1,300 copies of the newspaper in recycling bins around campus.

Charles Beecherl, an entrepreneurial business major, told the Daily Skiff he dumped the Sept. 23 papers because it went too far in publishing a photo of a professor involved in a physical altercation with another professor.

Before midday, the papers started to disappear, only to be found in nearby recycling bins. Robert Bohler, student publications director, became aware of the theft by a studentreporter and began looking in recycling bins around the administration office for the missing papers.

"Normally, when someone steals papers, they want to get rid of them quickly. So, they dump them nearby," he said.

Bohler took the vice chancellor of student affairs to the dumpsite where he had found a couple hundred papers.

"I told him what happened and showed him the evidence. And then, we called the police," Bohler said.

Bailey Shiffler, editor in chief of The Daily Skiff, said she received a text message Tuesday morning that a lot of papers were missing. Bohler filed a report with campus police Tuesday, Shiffler said. The paper ran a story about the incident in the paper the next day.

On Sept. 25, Beecherl turned himself in to campus police and admitted to stealing the papers. The police sent him to Bohler.

"He was sitting in the guy's class, opened the paper and was stunned," said Bohler. "When he left the class, he had some free time and decided to dump the papers in his free time, because the professor was one of his favorites."

The Daily Skiff recovered the 1,361 missing copies out of a 6,000 circulation.

On the editorial page of the Daily Skiff, a notice states that after the first free copy, each additional copy is 50 cents, which is to be purchased at the newspaper office.

Bohler said the amount of damages begins to add up from the more than 1,300 stolen papers.

"The printing cost and making good on discounts to advertisers in that day's newspaper makes the costs substantially more than the 1,300 papers," he said,

Bohler expects the case to be handled as a disciplinary action, not a criminal one.

"I've made it clear that we suffered," said Bohler.

"There are real-world consequences for stealing papers."

Shiffler said she did not think the act could be considered censorship.

"Beecherl isn't an authority figure or official. However, I do believe the effect was the same," she said in an e-mail. "Students who wanted to read the paper weren't able to, and that's the problem we had with what he did."

The Daily Skiff hopes to receive around $700, which is about 50 cents for each stolen paper, however, no award has been issued yet.

Daily Skiff, news, Texas, Texas Christian University