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15 CatCard machines ripped off

By Audrey DeAnda
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 2, 1999
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The UA CatCard office shut down all its "Cash to Card" terminals last week after a spree of thefts from the campus machines.

Fifteen machines, which allow students to put cash toward food and bookstore purchases on a computer chip, were broken into during the past two weeks, said CatCard Director Liz Taylor.

Students insert cash, $1, $5, $10, $20 bills, and receive credit toward purchases. The most frequently used machines - in residence halls and the Main Library -Ęshould be functioning early today.

"We hope to have all the other machines back up and running by Friday," Taylor said.

The CatCard office was determining yesterday the amount of money stolen - estimated to be "under $1,000," Taylor said.

Loomis Armor, which removes the money from campus machines, would have to count the profits to determine which terminals were robbed, she said.

University of Arizona police are investigating the thefts but had no suspects yesterday, said UAPD Cmdr. Brian Seastone. Seastone said a locking mechanism was stolen during the first robbery from a machine behind the Biological Sciences West Building, 1041 E. Lowell St.

Two subsequent thefts "had no apparent damage, so we assume they were broken into by duplicate keys, but we don't know," Seastone said.

The latest robbery occurred this weekend at a machine outside the UA's Main Library, 1510 E. University Blvd.

The UA lockshop is trying to invent a device that will require more than one key to open the machine, she said.

"We are just trying to get everything stabilized," Taylor said. "Right now the UA lockshop is working on building a stronger frame for the machines."

The machine in the library will be placed in the photocopier area, where it can be monitored, Taylor said.

The UA CatCard Web site will tell you more about the cash-to-card machines, including their locations across the campus.