Union chair theft creates new security program, UW police ask co - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Union chair theft creates new security program, UW police ask community to be on the lookout

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MADISON (WKOW) -- UW officials say thefts of the iconic, sunburst-design Union chair are up nearly three-fold this school year.

They say about 250 have been stolen, with two months remaining on the university's 2014 calendar.  Representatives say thefts of the colorful, metal chairs have averaged about one hundred in recent years.

UW Memorial Union spokesperson Marc Kennedy says this year's expansion of the Union Terrace grounds and the addition of more chairs play a role in the increase in thefts. Kennedy says the chairs are unique, and they are a trademarked item for the university, adding to their cache and appeal to thieves.

UW officials say there's a security patrol on the terrace at nights. Kennedy says police officers often recover chairs when new students move-in to Madison residences and discover Union chairs have been left behind by previous tenants.

The approximately one-thousand Union chairs on the Terrace are orange, green and yellow.  Red and white versions of the Union chair can be purchased through the Union:  http://bit.ly/Zexkqm.
Officials also ask anyone with information on a a stolen chair, to report it through this web site:  union@union.wisc.edu.

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MADISON (WKOW) --- Everyone has seen them, probably even sat in them.  UW Madison Police say there is an issue with the well known metal Union chairs being stolen.

Each year there are a number of chairs that come up missing.  Approximately 250 were stolen last year, and the cost is adding up at $250 a chair to replace them.

UW Madison Police say they have partnered with the Union to help stop the theft.  An overnight security guard was added to the Terrace in 2013, but still chairs are being stolen.  Police say anyone caught with a chair could face finds up to $500.

Blue chairs were available for purchase in the past, and now you can buy white and red ones on the Wisconsin Union's website for $335 a piece.

UW authorities are asking the community to keep an eye out.  If you see a green, orange, or yellow chair file a report with Wisconsin Union.


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