In what some sorority members are calling the damaging escalation of a friendly tradition, nine members of Theta Chi fraternity were arrested early Saturday morning after police said they gained illegal entry into the Delta Delta Delta sorority house. The sorority will press charges, which could result in 15-year felony punishments.
The men reportedly climbed up a fire escape and entered through the bathroom window of the sorority house, Ann Arbor Police Department Sgt. Pat Ouellette said. Among other items, police said they stole two composite pictures, which consist of photos of every member of the fraternity or sorority and are often displayed in Greek houses.
A member of the church next door called AAPD to the sorority house at about 4 a.m. Saturday. Police said they found three men inside a van and two on the roof of the house and two others later came out of the house. While police were questioning the group, two additional men came out of the house and fled on foot. Police ran after the two and caught them, Ouellette said.
The practice of pranking other Greek houses by stealing composite pictures is a fairly widespread tradition in the fraternity and sorority system, although most of these pranks do not result in arrests or, necessarily, break-ins.
“Normally frats will be let into a sorority house and usually a composite is stolen, or an emblem of some kind. However, this event was taken to another level, and other things happened that made this different than previous situations,” said LSA junior Lindsey Fediuk, vice president of the Pan Hellenic Association of sororities and a member of Delta Delta Delta.
The sorority was not ready to comment on these other circumstances, which Fediuk said added to the severity of the incident.
“We need to set a boundary,” said LSA sophomore Maggie Master, vice president of public relations for Delta Delta Delta. “It’s a security issue for our home.”
The fraternity members were released, but an investigation is ongoing. The men could face charges of home invasion, a felony that can carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Fediuk said the sorority will press charges in the hope of stopping the escalation.
“We are pressing charges so the men can be held accountable for their actions as well as to set a precedent … for future events,” she said, adding that the actions of the men were not representative of the Greek system.