Cambridge police detectives are investigating the theft of the Straus Trophy, which disappeared from its perch in the Dunster House dining hall early in April.
The silver, coffee-urn-like athletic trophy, decorated with lions' heads and topped by a small silver pineapple, is valued at over $600.
Due to the value of the object, the case is one of grand larceny, punishable with a sentence of from 2 1/2 years to life imprisonment in the state penitentiary, Cambridge police said last night.
There is considerable concern among housemasters, particularly in Dunster and Kirkland, that students may have taken the trophy as a prank. Police detectives do not necessarily consider grand larceny a prank.
According to Dunster Housemaster Alwin M. Pappenheimer '29, "this looks suspiciously like an inside job, like a not very good joke." Pappenheimer noted that whoever took the Straus Trophy showed no interest in other silver cups on open display in the dining hall. Presumably, a silver cups as well as silver samovars.
The Trophy, held annually by the House which compiles the most victories in interhouse athletics, has become the symbol of a strong Kirkland-Dunster rivalry. Dunster won the trophy from Kirkland last sping, but Kirklind reasserted its athletic supremacy this year. Dunster was to have presented the urn to Kirkland sometime this week.
Student Detectives Fall
John Purvis, '64, Dunster House Committee Chairman, stated that student detective work so far has proved unsuccessful. "We are taking this very seriously. If a student is responsible he will not only have trouble staying in college; he will have trouble staying out of jail," said Purvis.
Dunster's recently named athlete-of-the-year, David "Ace" Ames, '64, termed the theft "a dastardly deed." Ames, a boxer, says there will be, "a reckoning."
The Trophy reposed unguarded and unenclosed over the Dunster food line for most of this school year. No one, it seems, professional thief would be interested in is sure exactly when the theft occured. Evidently it was missing for some time before a perceptive white lady noticed.