Bay Area Papers Try to Combat Wave of Free Paper Theft

december 27, 2007  08:26 am
A recent surge in newspaper theft has a coalition of Bay Area newspapers -- including the East Bay Express and the San Francisco Bay Guardian -- asking local authorities to help pursue thieves both on the street and at the recycling businesses where they fence the stolen goods, according to the Berkeley Daily Planet. The Express is doing more than just asking cops for help, though. The Planet reports that after complaints to local police failed to result in the apprehension of a man repeatedly seen stealing papers, the alt-weekly hired a private investigator. On his first night out, the private eye caught the thief with more than 500 copies of the Express -- and nearly as many Bay Guardians -- in his truck. Express publisher Hal Brody says that stopping the thefts will take more than arresting street-level thieves -- rather, he thinks cops need to target the recycling businesses that accept the contraband. A meeting between Oakland police and local publishers to discuss how to stem the tide of theft is planned for the near future, the Planet reports.