ISU police zero in on suspect in locker room heist

Update: Cyclones upgrade security around opponents' dressing areas

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AMES -- Iowa State police have zeroed in on a suspect involved with a locker room heist during the Iowa-Iowa State football game at Jack Trice Stadium.

However, the agency declined to reveal specifics about the person or people involved in the Sept. 14 incident.

"We continue to follow leads," said Capt. Darin Van Ryswyk, an investigator with the Iowa State Department of Public Safety. "We’re still working on the case. There is still movement in it. But I can’t give you any details or it will mess up the case."

According to documents Iowa State University provided The Gazette through the Freedom of Information Act, the items stolen from Iowa's locker room include seven iPhones, an $80 heart monitor, $55 in cash from three different people, an American Express credit card and an Iowa driver's license. The total losses are estimated at $2,235.

Iowa State redacted the victims' names from the report before providing it to The Gazette. The athletics department has offered to reimburse Iowa's players and coach for the theft "if the person(s) responsible are not identified," according to a Sept. 16 news release. According to Rick Klatt, Iowa's associate athletics director for external relations, Iowa purchased replacement cell phones and Iowa State will reimburse the school.

"I know Gary (Barta, Iowa's athletics director) is very pleased with how Iowa  State University has handled this," Klatt said.

Private security firm Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC) has provided security to Iowa State athletics events since 2011.

Just minutes after the game concluded, police were called to the Iowa locker room located in the Olsen Building. ISU police initially responded to Iowa's locker room and were joined by law enforcement officials from the Iowa State Patrol, Story County Sheriff's Department and Ames Police Department.

The following day, Iowa's director of football operations, Paul Federici, in an email thanked Van Ryswyk and Iowa state trooper Durk Pearston for their assistance. But Federici let it be known that he had contacted future Iowa State football opponents about the situation.

"I have recommended to Oklahoma State, Texas Christian University, University of Texas, and Kansas University to take every security measure necessary when they each travel to ames [sic] later this fall," Federici wrote.

Iowa State plays host to Texas on Thursday night in the Cyclones' first home game since the theft. Iowa State's athletics department has made modest security changes in preparation for the team's remaining home games.

"We added an additional security staffer to the locker room corridors with the responsibility to check-in all personnel entering the locker rooms when not occupied by visiting team staff," wrote Steve Malchow, ISU's senior associate athletics director for communications, in an email to The Gazette. "The doors from the hallways entering visiting team and officials locker room areas will be required to be locked at all times it is not occupied. That includes halftime and pre-game.

"Prior to this incident, we had made plans to install additional security cameras within our facilities. We will follow through with that plan, but I don’t have a timeline."

ESPN airs the Iowa State-Texas game to a national audience.


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