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UAPD closes paper theft case; Frat members were never questioned

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Colin Darland | The Daily Wildcat UAPD

UAPD has ended its investigation into its case involving the theft of 10,000 Daily Wildcat newspapers on Oct. 8.


The University of Arizona Police Department closed the case despite declining to question UA students and Phi Kappa Psi members Alex Cornell and Nick Kovaleski, whose names appeared on Spanish homework found in a pile of thousands of stolen newspapers discovered on West Anklam Road on Oct. 9.

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The fraternity's president and vice president initially would neither confirm nor deny Phi Kappa Psi's involvement in the mass theft. Phi Kappa Psi President Keith Peters later told the Daily Wildcat the fraternity would be carrying out an internal investigation.


Peters, Cornell and Kovaleski have repeatedly declined comment concerning the ongoing case and the fraternity's internal investigation.


UAPD officers placed phone calls to Cornell and Kovaleski on Oct. 9. The call to Kovaleski was not returned, and Cornell deferred comment to Peters, who could not be reached by the police.


The campus police again attempted to contact the fraternity members on Oct. 21, but UAPD received no response. After a final failed attempt to contact Cornell, Kovaleski and Peters via e-mail on Oct. 22, Detective David Caballero chose to close the case, according to police reports.


""Probable cause does not exist at this time to obtain an arrest or search warrant,"" Caballero wrote in the report. ""No other investigative leads exist at this time.""


Public Information Officer Sgt. Juan Alvarez deferred comment to Caballero, who declined comment.


Daily Wildcat representatives will be stating their case to the Greek Standards Board on Wednesday night following an official complaint with Greek Life launched by the newspaper against Phi Kappa Psi.


In order for the fraternity to be found responsible for Arizona Student Media's estimated $8,500 loss, the Daily Wildcat must show collaboration on the part of the chapter as a whole, rather than a few individuals within the fraternity, said Jenny Nirh, senior coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Programs within Greek Life.


Following the Greek Standards Board hearing, the board will send a letter to the fraternity by Nov. 6 stating whether Phi Kappa Psi is responsible for the theft, as well as outlining any possible sanctions, according to official Greek Standards Board processes.


A simple majority vote is needed for the board to reach a verdict. The board is made up of eight Greek student members.

 


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