ASU Police Records Show Expensive, Odd Things Stolen From University

What do 100 high-end computer CPUs, $1,660 worth of toilet paper, and a box of brownies have in common?

They used to be property of Arizona State University - that is - until they were stolen.

And those are just three of the 136 cases of stolen University property reported to the ASU Police Department between 2009 and 2010.

Documents obtained by New Times show theft, burglary, and other stealing-related crimes of University property reported to the ASU Police Department totaled $103,628.55 in 2009, and $111,723.43 through September 2010.

The crimes, ranging from shoplifting and larceny to burglary and forgery, seem fairly non-discriminate: Electronics and cash belonging to the University were stolen often, but more unexpected items like fire extinguishers and vacuums were also fairly popular.

What's most interesting about the University's losses, however, are the truly weird things that people steal.

Here's the top 10 strange stealing-related cases over the last two years:

10. Ticket Scanners

Someone lifted two ticket scanners from Wells Fargo Arena, the home of ASU basketball. Now you're armed with two $500 machines that only do one thing: read barcodes. One of the only conceivable options to actually use these things would to be starting your own basketball team, possibly named the Casa Grande Cactus-trotters, and make sure nobody uses fake tickets to get into Cactus-trotter Arena. That's assuming they also found a way to steal a multi-million dollar basketball venue, but I suppose you have to start somewhere.

9. Sink Faucet

Sometimes you just need a new faucet for your bathroom sink, and a public university would be the first place to look. That may or may not be the thinking of whoever stole a $700 faucet from a bathroom on ASU's Tempe campus, but it went missing nonetheless.

8. Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers were reported stolen from various ASU buildings on four separate occasions between 2009 and 2010, with values typically around $100. Sure, it's a handy safety device to have, but there also seem to be quite a few for sale around the internet from the Phoenix area.

7. Copper

Copper theft isn't news around the Valley; it's typically considered a staple of providing meth heads with the cash for their next tweaking session. After a local recycler noticed the same lady began turning in loads of copper quite regularly, he tipped off the police. It turns out she had been burglarizing the copper from a large transformer on the Tempe campus, rendering the $35,000 transformer completely useless.

6. Mike Chismar's Office

In 2010, someone burglarized the office of ASU Senior Associate Athletic Director Mike Chismar. Burglar(s) made off with several items, including cash that belonged to various athletic teams. In addition to the $1,500 worth of stuff taken from Chismar's office were some priceless items, including a commemorative watch from the 1997 Rose Bowl Game. ASU hasn't appeared in a Rose Bowl Game since Jake Plummer's squad fell three points short in '97, and after the last three seasons (records of 5-7, 4-8, and 6-6, respectively), another Rose Bowl Game doesn't look promising any time soon.

5. Football Players and Parking Boots

Over the past two years, four parking boots have been stolen off of cars waiting to be towed from the ASU campus. Two of those missing parking boots went missing from the cars of ASU football players. In 2009, parking boots attached to the cars of safety Jarrell Holman and cornerback Terell Carr magically disappeared. Neither Holman, who owed $944 in parking fines, nor Carr, who owed $530, were arrested in the theft of the parking boots. They may not have been charged with the thefts of the parking boots, but legal troubles continued for both Holman and Carr.

4. The Computer Guy

An ASU employee in charge of purchasing computer parts for repairs evidently bought a few too many computer CPUs. Police say he used an ASU credit card to purchase 100 Intel Core i7 processors for a grand total of $56,699. Co-workers told police that not only did he buy way more processors than anyone ever needed; he also racked up a few thousand dollars in free computer games and accessories from his huge purchases from online retailer

3. AED

Unless this thief was preparing for an impending fit of cardiac arrest, the theft of an automated external defibrillator (AED) from ASU's Tempe campus seems pretty (ahem) heartless. Not to mention it also cost $2,457.75 to replace the machine to ensure that someone having a heart-related emergency near the device could be afforded an opportunity to continue living.

2. The Brownie Bandit

To be fair, the 2010 burglary of an office inside the Wells Fargo Arena totaled $2,635 worth of missing things not related to brownies, including a laptop, camera, and golf balls. But the burglar(s) also made sure to grab a box of "gourmet brownies," valued at a $10 loss to the University.

1. Toilet Paper

Over several incidents spanning between 2009 and 2010, people stole a shitload of toilet paper from ASU. Two burglaries and one theft involving every single roll of toilet paper in Sun Devil Stadium were among the five major toilet paper heists reported to ASU police in the past two years, amassing a grand total of $1,660 worth of toilet paper. According to one estimate, which valued the theft of 11 rolls of toilet paper at $30, an approximation of 609 toilet paper rolls went missing over the last two years.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley