$780 stolen from fund for spring break trip

Residents of Kreischer residence hall remain in disbelief as nearly $800 in cash was stolen from The Arts Village this past weekend.

Sometime between Feb. 3 and 5, $780 was stolen from Gordon Ricketts, instructor in the School of Art, whose office is located in the basement of Kreischer residence hall.

The money was to be used for students going on The Arts Village trips to see “Wicked,” a play in Cincinnati, and a trip to California.

“I was surprised when I heard about it,” said Joe Lucchese, freshman. “I wouldn’t think anyone would do something like that. It makes you take a second look at who you trust.”

Freshman Drew Fasano describes Ricketts as being well respected by many students in the community, adding to his surprise about the stolen money.

“I didn’t think anyone would do something like that,” he said.

Ricketts said if the money is not recovered he will be responsible for replacing it.

“The students are not affected by it,” he said.

The cash was in an envelope in Ricketts’ office over the weekend. While there was no evidence of tampering to the lock on his office door, Ricketts said he usually keeps his door unlocked when he leaves for short periods of time during the day.

“It’s something I don’t advertise,” Ricketts said. “It wasn’t laying out on the table saying ‘take me’.”

While other staff members have keys to the office, Ricketts said it is unlikely they are to blame.

“The people who knew about the money didn’t have a key,” he said.

After this experience, Ricketts said he will be taking new precautions in collecting student money, adding that he has never had this happen before.

“I’m not going to take any more cash,” he said. “It’s going to require that I change my behavior in how I collect money.”

Ricketts also notified about 100 students and faculty members about the theft through a group email this week, asking for their help if they know anything about the incident.

According to Detective Tony Dotson, campus police are in an ongoing investigation into the stolen money.

“We have a few avenues we’re looking at, but nothing solid,” he said.

Stolen cash and valuables are not a new thing on campus, Dotson said, adding that people need to keep common sense when securing their valuables.

“The vast majority of thefts are kept on campus,” he said.

The Arts Village is a themed residential learning community. They often hold workshops, host visiting artists and take field trips.

Editor’s note: If anyone has information about the stolen money they are encouraged to call Detective Dotson at (419) 372-9151 or to remain anonymous call the Crimestoppers Line at (419) 372-6000.