The sign from the front lawn of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity has been stolen again. According to the University of Maine Police Department report, “the sign was allegedly removed from its College Avenue location sometime between 10 p.m. March 28 and 1 a.m. March 29.”
Harrison Goldsmith, a second-year art history student and Beta’s risk manager, said that most of the brothers who were over 21 were out at the bars. When they returned, they noticed it had gone missing.
“No one noticed until the morning after,” Goldsmith said. “I got a Snapchat from one of my friends and he was like ‘Hey, did our sign get stolen last night?’”
He said that the few brothers who were at the house reported hearing people shouting “F— Beta” from College Avenue, down the hill from the house.
“But, you know, we’re gonna hear that every day,” Goldsmith said. “We’re not gonna think twice about it, but that’s when we think the sign was being cut.”
The sign was not reported stolen for two days after the theft. Goldsmith says that one of the brothers saw a red Subaru hatchback with a ski rack lurking near the fraternity around the time of the theft. He and several others searched for the car for two days, trying to figure out the theft themselves. They only found a red Subaru hatchback owned by “an older gentleman,” at which point they reported the theft to UMPD.
Goldsmith said that the fraternity waited to get police involved because they didn’t want to ruin anyone’s future by causing a theft to be put on their record.
“The police officer came to our house and said ‘a theft on your record is gonna make it that much harder to get a job,’” Goldsmith said. “Trespassing and some other minor things, like yeah you were just a dumb kid, but once there’s theft on your record it’s hard to get a job in the future. We don’t want to go that far.”
Goldsmith said that the theft of the sign is the most recent instance in a string of crimes against fraternities.
“Theta Chi, their sign isn’t there any more. Pi Kap I believe, was broken into while they were at a formal,” Goldsmith said. “Kappa Sig, I heard some guys just came in and beat them up. So many people want to come after us.”
Goldsmith hopes that his fraternity can get its sign back, but he said that because of the way the sign was cut off, it will cost much more than the $300 cost of the sign to replace the whole thing.
The stolen sign was hand-built by Brian Campbell, the house manager at Beta. Goldsmith said that Campbell and a couple other brothers got together to build it after their old sign was broken last spring. Goldsmith said that Campbell is very upset that his work was stolen.
UMPD is still looking for two men and a red Subaru hatchback.