An unidentified male took over 100 copies of the Daily Nexus yesterday from the stand in front of the Buchanan Hall coffee cart, throwing some away and bagging the rest.
Devon Blunden, a second-year geography major, saw a young man, who was presumably a student, take all of the Daily Nexus newspapers from their stand at about 11 a.m. Before shoving about 50 papers into his backpack, Blunden said, the man threw away a stack of papers into a nearby recycling bin.
Blunden described the man as a tall Caucasian with short, dirty blonde hair.
“I asked him why he was grabbing a huge stack of newspapers, and he said, ‘I have to deliver them to some people,'” Blunden said. “As he tossed them into the trashcan, I asked if the people were in the garbage. He said, ‘Hey, get off my fucking back.'”
After grabbing the stack of newspapers, shoving them into his backpack and mounting his bike, Blunden said the man told him one more time to “just get off my fucking back” before pedaling away.
Jeff Prancevic, a second-year undeclared student who works at the nearby coffee cart, said he also saw the man who stole the newspapers.
“I saw the guy ride away on his bike after some other guy questioned him,” Prancevic said.
Blunden said he saw the man on his way to class as he went to pick up a copy of the Nexus at the Buchanan stand.
“I just wanted to read the ‘Wednesday Hump,'” Blunden said.
UCSB Police Dept. Officer Matt Bly responded to the reported theft call, and had an employee of UCSB Facilities Management unlock the recycling bin for Daily Nexus Editor in Chief Kaitlin Pike to recover the newspapers and count how many were thrown away. Altogether, 78 newspapers were found in the recycle bin.
Yesterday’s issue of the Nexus included news stories about the UCPD resuming an investigation of the 1969 Faculty Club bombing; the university expelling a former member of Sigma Chi Fraternity on sexual assault charges; soccer player Eric Frimpong pleading not guilty to allegations of sexual assault; an Associated Students presidential debate; and Real Life’s red confession booths around campus.
Ironically, the opinion section from yesterday’s issue included a column from a UCSB alumnus discussing an incident in which 300 Daily Nexus newspapers were defaced by the Student Action Coalition stamps during election time in 2005. Because of this, SAC had to pay the Nexus $299.
Since Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s newspaper theft law became active Jan. 1 of this year, it is now a crime to take more than 25 free newspapers.
California law stipulates that any first-time offender of free newspaper theft will be punished with an infraction and a fine of up to $250. A second-time offender may be given either an infraction or a misdemeanor, fined up to $500 and/or imprisoned for up to 10 days. In addition, although single copies of the Daily Nexus are free, the Nexus charges one dollar for each additional copy taken.