AMU Student Arrested for Theft of Letters from Ave Maria Sign
Published on Monday, 22 December 2014 22:02
The case of letters stolen from Ave Maria entrance signs appears to have been solved. One Ave Maria University student who police say was caught on a security camera stealing one of the letters faces a felony charge of grand theft and other students who were also involved apparently have been identified.
The large metal letters that are mounted on stone structures at the entrances to Ave Maria on Oil Well Rd. and Camp Keais Rd. began disappearing in early December. Soon, all the letters on one sign were gone, others were missing, and some of the stolen letters began turning up near the Ave Maria University campus.
Luisa Rosales, manager of the Ave Maria Master Association, said that security cameras were set up after the first round of thefts and further thefts of letters were caught on video Dec. 14. A Collier County Sheriff's Office investigator reviewed the video, and in co-operation with AMU Security, reviewed recordings of students entering dorms.
One student, Michael John Tracy, 18, from Chicago, was arrested Dec. 18 on charges of grand theft $300-$5,000. He was released on $5,000 bond. The arrest report states that Mr. Tracy had a letter "V" in his possession and it was returned.
Ms. Rosales said that she believes some other students involved also have been identified and the sheriff's office says the investigation remains "active." She said that in all, close to 20 letters have been stolen and eight have been recovered.
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