Robbery Forces KSDT Radio off the Air

John Hanacek/Guardian

Deejays at UCSD’s student-run station were dismayed Wednesday morning to discover intruders had broken into the KSDT office overnight and stolen at least $1,700 worth of equipment.

The first person to notice the break-in was KSDT deejay Andres Fraire, who showed up at 7:50 a.m. to prepare for his 8 a.m. show, “The Omission.” He concluded that the robbery had taken place sometime after 2 a.m., when a program named “Commitment to Excellence” ended and its hosts went home.

“I went into the studio to start my show, and I noticed that everything was missing. Our mixer was missing, our speakers _ pretty much everything we have at that studio was gone, even the microphones,” Fraire said. “And then I went into the hallway and I noticed our back door had been broken into, that that’s how the thieves had gotten in.”

According to KSDT general manager Meredith Wong, theft is not uncommon at the station.

“This is definitely not the first time we’ve been robbed, but this is the first time we’ve been broken into,” Wong said. “We have problems with our headphones being taken — that’s sort of what a lot of our operating costs go toward, is the cost of replacing equipment that almost systematically goes missing.”

Wong said the robbers probably jumped down 15 feet from the second floor of the Student Center behind Hi Thai into an enclosed area that connects to KSDT’s back door, then smashed the glass to get in.

“Part of me thinks it’s kind of funny, because they climbed down through the roof and smashed the back door window, and there are so many other windows that are more easily accessible,” Wong said. “Maybe they thought it wouldn’t be locked from down there.”

Wong said that, though KSDT staff members are still attempting to take inventory of remaining equipment, they have already confirmed that microphones, speakers, a mixer and a phone patch were stolen.

KSDT will be off the air until Monday, when Wong hopes to have assembled some old backup equipment. Until new equipment is purchased, deejays will be unable to take phone calls and forced to rely on old technology.

“We have an extra deejay setup that’s enough to put on shows, but we’re going to still have to make some replacements,” Wong said.

The police are currently investigating the robbery. According to Wong, KSDT plans to increase its security measures to prevent similar incidents from reoccurring.

“I’m much more concerned with people seeing KSDT as a safe place than finding the criminal and serving justice,” Wong said.

Readers can contact Hayley Bisceglia-Martin at [email protected].

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