Cuesta College’s student newspaper, The Cuestonian, is investigating over 400 missing copies of their March Issue.
Three separate kiosks, one located by parking lot 3, one in front of the library and the other by the cafeteria were emptied. However the kiosk by the coffee stand behind the library was left untouched. The possible theft happened between Tuesday, April 1st and Wednesday April 2nd.
It is estimated that the missing issues will be at a minimum loss of $180 in printing costs. Advertising losses are still to be determined.
The state of California has a newspaper theft law that states individuals cannot take more than 25 copies of a free newspaper if the intent is to “deprive others of the opportunity to read or enjoy the newspaper.” The fine for first-time offenders can up to $250.
“We have documented the issue but there is no suspect information in this case,” said Cuesta College Campus Police Officer Carlos Bedia.
An increase in student interest or staff distribution could be possible factors in the missing issues said Bedia.
“We don’t have any leads, and we don’t feel that any story in the paper was particularly contentious,” said Cuestonian adviser Kim Bisheff. “It is possible that this issue simply became a hot item overnight, but it’s much more likely that someone deliberately emptied those kiosks.”
Cuesta College’s Journalism department plans on placing signs on the kiosks warning that stealing newspapers is a crime.
Newsstands have been re-stocked and distribution patterns have returned to normal.