Five USC students were recently arrested for the theft of plants and lawn ornaments, including a statue of Buddha. The students, all candidates for the fraternity Sigma Nu, thought the pieces would help add to the decor of an upcoming fraternity party.
The identified students are: Eyobed Tsehaye Mesfun, 19, Dylan Avery Walter, 19, Miles Anlian Horton, 18, Gramham Wilson Vines, 18, and Darshan Sanjay Patel, 18. The students, who have since been released from custody, now find themselves at the center of a police investigation as well as an investigation led by Sigma Nu Fraternity Inc. “Sigma Nu Fraternity was founded on the honor principle and is dedicated to our mission of developing ethical leaders for society,” said Brad Beacham, executive director of Sigma Nu Fraternity Inc.. “We will not tolerate unlawful conduct. We have begun an investigation of this matter and will take appropriate action once all facts are known.” The students were arrested on suspicion of grand theft-related offenses.
According to a witness, the five students cruised through the 300 block of North Almansor Street around 1 a.m. They were spotted running back and forth between homes and a black pickup truck. Police were notified and were able to eventually track down the students in the truck, which reportedly had a USC sticker located on the rear window. Police noticed the bed of the truck was filled with palm fronds and tree trunks – some of which had been completely uprooted. Police also found statues of ducks, cats, and a Buddha.
Sigma Nu Fraternity
The students are due in court Nov. 10.
Tanner Sandoval, president of the USC Interfraternity Council, oversees the university’s Greek system. “This is not what we stand for,” he said. USC, as well as the Interfraternity Council plan to investigate the incident to identify if members of the fraternity asked the students to steal, or whether the group acted on their own. Sandoval also said that Sigma Nu’s pledge program has been placed on hold while the investigation is taking place.
Source: The Los Angeles Times, Police: USC students stole lawn statues, plants for frat party, October 9, 2014
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