Government Fleet Top News

Thousands of Dollars Stolen from University Police Car

July 26, 2005

BOONE, NC – A bag containing bank deposits belonging to Appalachian State University was stolen from the trunk of a University Police car July 12.A university internal auditor, Wes Bunch, assessed the total value of the stolen deposits to be $24,788.10, University Police Chief Gunther E. Doerr said. This includes $14,352 in checks, $9,779.75 in credit card receipts and $656.35 in cash. The theft occurred in the First Presbyterian Church parking lot off Howard Street between 9:25 and 9:50 a.m. The unknown person(s) took a black gym bag containing six deposit bags from a dark blue Chevrolet Lumina, according to a University Police Campus Crime Alert. Doerr said the vehicle is one of the department’s unmarked cars used for administrative purposes.When departments on campus prepare money for deposit to the bank, they call and have a security officer pick up the deposits, Doerr said. The officer was on her way to pick up money from three other locations when the theft occurred, he said. Doerr said the car was locked and university police are not sure how the suspect broke into the vehicle. Doerr said university police does not have the staffing to assign two officers (instead of one) to deposit pick-ups.Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Jane P. Helm said the university is in the process of contacting customers who paid with checks and credit cards to stop their previous payments and make new ones. “There will be some loss, but it’s not a total loss,” Helm said. “Ideally, the only loss would be the cash lost.”Departments that lost deposits to the theft included the athletic ticket office, the sports information office, conferences and institutes, Farthing Auditorium, the information technology center, and the administration building, Doerr said.Credit card holders face risks because their credit card numbers are printed on university receipts, Doerr said. The university is notifying credit cardholders and asking them to contact university police right away after any indication that someone has tried to use their accounts.Helm said changes have since been made to deposit retrieval procedures, but declined to disclose them for security reasons. Appalachian State does not use an armored car service for deposit deliveries because of costs, she said. University police and Watauga County Crimestoppers have issued a Crimestoppers alert for any information about the stolen deposit bags.

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