ALLIANCE, Ohio (WJW)– Thousands of dollars worth of cameras and electronics equipment were stolen from the communications department of the University of Mount Union. Police in Alliance are now trying to figure out who took the equipment from a locked storage area.
The theft happened as student are working on fall semester projects. According to the campus newspaper, the head of the communications department believes the thief or thieves knew exactly what they wanted and took the most expensive items they could find.
“This isn’t just a theft of property, this is a theft of opportunity for a lot of people,” said Vinny Camma, program director for Raider Student Media.
Late Thursday night or early Friday morning, someone broke into a locked storage room inside the student media center. Known as Raider Student Media, the production area is located inside the Hoover-Price Campus Center.
“The equipment is used for the department of communication, it was given to them, awarded to them from a grant that they had, and it’s used for a multitude of student projects and the radio station uses it as well for their media projects,” said Ryan Smith, assistant director of academic marketing for the University of Mount Union.
“It encompasses 91.1 WRMU, which is our on campus radio station, Studio M, which is our multi-media outlet and the UMU Dynamo, which is our newspaper, and not having access to the kind of equipment that we had access to formerly, it inhibits our ability to product things,” Camma said.
Alliance police and university officials did not say exactly what was stolen. But the items include high-quality cameras and other equipment that students use for campus productions and class projects as they get hands on experience in the communications field.
“It really just hinders us and it kind of breaks our hearts,” Camma said.
“You can tell the students take immense pride in Raider Student Media and all the projects that are around it, whether they’re a major or not a major, and it’s shown… I mean, whether they were taking to social media or talking around campus, they were hurt and rightfully so,” Smith said.
University of Mount Union officials say theid will make sure that students still have the equipment they need to finish up their projects. They expect to have replace equipment in place by the start of the spring semester.