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Students charged in frat thefts; investigation ongoing

Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 14:10

Two UTM students were arrested Oct. 2 and charged with theft of property in connection with items taken from the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity house on Sept. 20.

According to a Martin Police report, Corey M. Rose, 19, an Accounting major from Lexington, also was charged with vandalism and burglary. Dalton D. Jones, 18, a Business Administration undeclared major from Brownsville, also was charged with vandalism. Both men are affiliated with Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, according to Facebook.

UTM Public Safety Capt. Ray Coleman said the investigation is continuing into thefts at two other fraternity houses – the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house and the Sigma Phi Epsilon house. Those thefts also occurred during the weekend of Sept. 21-22.

Because of the thefts, all Interfraternity Council (IFC) fraternities initially were banned from Homecoming activities. However, UTM administrators allowed the men to participate. According to information received from Chancellor Tom Rakes, questions have arisen about the validity of the IFC policies cited by the Office of Greek Life in imposing the ban.

The Pacer also has learned that Louis Ragsdale, coordinator of the Office of Greek Life, has been placed on administrative leave until the situation can be sorted out. David Belote, assistant vice chancellor for Student Affairs, confirmed that Ragsdale is on leave.

Meanwhile, Steve Vantrease and John Abel, director and assistant director, respectively, of the UC are in charge of Greek Life.

For updates regarding the IFC situation, as well as the continuing investigation into the thefts, check The Pacer online at utmpacer. com. Following are the police reports from the three thefts in September.

610 Lee St.

According to a Martin Police report, on Sept. 22 at about 11:28 a.m., the Martin Police Department responded to a theft that had taken place at 610 Lee St., which is the Sigma Phi Epsilon house. A 52-inch JVC TV, valued around $300, was stolen from the house sometime between 10:30 p.m. Sept. 21 and 8 a.m. Sept. 22. UTM officers later recovered the TV outside Trinity Presbyterian Church on Hannings Lane on Sept. 23.

528 Lee St.

According to a police report, on Sept. 22 at about 12:42 p.m., a Martin police officer was dispatched to 528 Lee St., which is the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house, in reference to theft of property. The SAE president told the officer that composites, trophies, plaques and a soundboard were stolen from the house sometime Saturday morning after 2 a.m.

The total value of the stolen items was around $9,470. The following items were reported as stolen: a soundboard valued at $400, 15 composites valued at $500 each, 19 plaques valued at $30 each and 20 trophies valued at $50 each. A few days later, a Martin police officer found some of the items while on patrol. 10 trophies, 15 plaques and eight composites were still missing as of 11 a.m. Sept. 26. The total value of the missing items is $4,950.

522 Lee St.

According to a police report, a Martin police officer was dispatched on Sept. 23 at about 12:43 p.m. to 522 Lee St., which is the Kappa Alpha Order house, in reference to a vandalism and theft. Apparently, three trophies valued around $600 were destroyed. Two trophies valued at $200, a 7-foot statue of a knight valued at $300, and two award plaques valued at $200 were stolen from the property. The total value of the missing items is $700. All of the items were originally located in the meeting area of the house. The incident occurred sometime after 1:30 a.m. Sept. 22. Another officer observed the damaged trophies at 11:40 a.m. on Sept. 22 and spoke to a member of the fraternity.

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