FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)- Typically, journalists try to stay out of their stories, but this week a Kentucky newspaper is the story. The Frankfort State Journal is searching for a thief stealing its papers, a thief it calls “extreme”.
Many people know papers are not quite black, white, and read all over these days. Though they might be less popular, it does not mean print journalists work any less hard.
“The work is important and it should be valued,” Hannah Brown, State Journal Design Editor, said.
That is why staff members say they were frustrated to find some of the people who do value the work have not been able to find it because of a paper thief! Publisher Steve Stewart says men doing some mulching outside the paper on Sunday saw a woman deposit enough for one paper then take more than 20.
“…loads up two backpacks worth of Sunday Edition. She did have the courtesy of leaving the window copy in the rack,” Stewart described.
Who would want to steal a newspaper, though? The State Journal thinks an extreme couponer is to blame.
“Apparently, there is some value in having 50 coupons for toilet paper; I guess,” Stewart said.
Unlike some other crime victims, the paper’s voice carries. Stewart says, after encouragement from police, the paper posted a photo of the woman they believe might be their thief.
“In a small town like Frankfort, obviously, it wasn’t long before we started getting “tips”, let’s say,” Stewart said.
Stewart says this kind of theft is an ongoing problem that has only gotten worse with the coupon craze. He says it is not a big financial issue, but is a big inconvenience for readers like Pam Cloyd, who had trouble finding a paper Tuesday.
“This is part of our lives and without a local newspaper we can’t stay in touch with the people passing, the birth dates, the anniversaries, the weddings, just the local news,” Cloyd said.
Stewart says he does not intend to exaggerate the severity of this crime. He just wants people to know it is a crime so hopefully, they will leave the papers for those who want to read them.
Stewart says he has passed the tips the paper has gotten to the police. If those tips lead to a successful conviction, he will give a free one year subscription to the people who helped identify the thief.