BERKELEY — Police here are investigating the theft of a $25,000 sign that was stolen from outside a university dormitory and ended up on the roof of a nearby fraternity house, authorities said.
In a Sept. 13 law enforcement operation, UC Berkeley police recovered the sign from the Sigma Chi fraternity at 2345 College Ave., authorities said. The sign had been stolen five days earlier from the Christian Hall dormitory on Durant Avenue, authorities said.
While the incident has all the makings of a fraternity prank, UC Berkeley police treated it as a felony investigation. The sign was bolted into the cement and cost roughly $3,000 to install, well past the $400 threshold for felony vandalism in California. With an estimated value of $25,000, it also qualifies as a felony grand theft under state law.
The trouble started Sept. 8, when a UC Berkeley employee reported the theft. Four days later, a UC Berkeley student spotted the sign on the Sigma Chi roof. Police say it had been spray-painted with “ΣX,” the Greek symbol for the fraternity.
UC Berkeley cops showed up at the fraternity house the next day and retrieved the sign without incident, authorities said. No arrests or charges have been announced and it’s unclear whether police have identified the culprit or culprits.
Requests for comment sent to the fraternity were not returned.