Thieves dump 250 copies of Texas college paper

TEXAS — About 250 copies of the student newspaper The Ranger were stolen from racks at San Antonio College on April 18.

Media communications chair Marianne Odom filed a police report April 19 about the newspapers being stolen from three buildings on campus. According to The Ranger, the newspapers’ absence from bins in three buildings was first noticed by photo adviser Tricia Buchhorn on April 18 and was confirmed when she found several stacks of papers in a trashcan.

Police Chief Don Adams said an investigator is assigned to the case but there are no suspects. Adams said newspaper thefts at the college are very rare. He’s been with the department for 11 years and can recall only one time newspapers were stolen and thrown away.

The Ranger publishes weekly and has a distribution of 6,000 with 32 distribution boxes. Three reporters restocked the bins later that afternoon, according to The Ranger.

Editor in Chief Joshua Fechter said he’s not sure why the papers were stolen. The April 16 edition included information for new student orientation and stories meant to help incoming students navigate the college.

Fechter said there was nothing in the print edition that would prompt a theft. However, a recent online story received criticism from students and faculty. Speech Professor John Skinner died after suffering a heart attack in his office. Fechter said the newspaper published a story and accompanying photo of Skinner on a gurney near an ambulance.

The photo and story received several critical comments.

“We do consider this a form of censorship,” Fechter said. “We fight hard every day to provide accurate information and we don’t take this lightly.”

Fechter said students, faculty and staff on campus regularly interact with the newspaper, writing letters to the editor.

Fechter said if the culprits wanted to hurt the newspaper, they failed. Who they really hurt was the community, Fechter said.

“We provide information to the entire community,” Fechter said. “Whoever stole those papers withheld information from the community and that’s a serious offense.”

By Emily Summars, SPLC staff writer

news, newspaper theft, San Antonio College, Texas, The Ranger