More than 100 newspaper racks have been stolen, according to San Jose police, and the case has spread to other cities.
The publisher of the Palo Alto Daily Post said they're doing an inventory on all their news racks and are going to be filing a theft report with the Palo Alto Police Department.
Three of the Daily Post's racks were stolen on Tuesday and were found in the yard and dumpster at the San Jose Mercury News.
Police said about 35 other news racks were found in the dumpster and another 75 lined up outside.
"It's theft, it's as simple as that," said Dave Price, of the Palo Alto Post. "They put them in the dumpster."
David Rounds, vice president of circulation for the Bay Area News Group, said they would remove non-complying racks at the request of local municipalities and businesses, but admitted they never called any of their competitors to tell them they were in possession of their racks.
"Sure I find it troubling that they were found in the dumpster, but first they weren't contacted because that practice has fallen away," Rounds said.
The Mercury News said the racks in its yard are from University Avenue and El Camino real in Palo Alto and a shopping center in Fremont.
"We shouldn't have taken the freestanding racks on University Avenue," Rounds said. "That was just an employee being enthusiastic after getting a call from probably the code enforcement."
Price said he's suspicious of what the Mercury News is doing.
"We'd like it to stop and we'd like a thorough investigation by the police department," he said.
San Jose police said they have assigned a detective from the property crimes unit to the case, but said it is complicated because some of the alleged thefts took place in other cities, like Palo Alto.
The Mercury News said after what's happened in the past couple of days they are going to completely re-evaluate their procedures with rack maintenance and city ordinance compliance.
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