Mallika Makkar/THE VARSITY

Between the night of July 8 and the morning of July 11, a break-in occurred at the Sanford Fleming Building, home of the Engineering Society (EngSoc) and its secret society, the Brute Force Committee (BFC).

The break-in resulted in over $10,000 of property being stolen from the BFC room: including historic documents and photographs, cash, member costumes, tools, and personal belongings. Within a week, however, most items were anonymously returned.

The BFC revealed, in a press release on its website, that the stolen property included costumes worth $6,500 and a batch of stickers worth $2,000.

In separate statements released by EngSoc and BFC, both groups described the theft as “malicious” and “criminal.”

This is the second break-in of the year for EngSoc as money, personal items, as well as items relating to the group’s heritage were stolen from the room of the society’s Blue and Gold Committee this past January.

“The January break-in seemed more like an irresponsible and unplanned act (maybe someone intoxicated), while last week’s incident seemed well planned and orchestrated,” said Ernesto Diaz Lozano Patiño, the president of EngSoc..

Patiño believes the latest break-in to be a targeted act against the BFC.

“In the room that was broken into, all the items removed were about the specific group’s activities. Meanwhile, other items in the room of high value from other groups were not removed.”

The engineering community approves of friendly rivalries, however, the BFC believes the break-in dishonoured the ESSCO Pranker’s Code — a set of guidelines signed and agreed upon by engineering societies across Ontario. “The Brute Force Committee has a history of mascot liberations. However, our operations follow the ESSCO Pranker’s Code, which states that personal items and non-important symbols should not be a part of liberations.”

Although the BFC hoped for, and received the swift return of their property, they hope future acts will be in better taste. “Despite the positive outcome, this chapter cannot be closed,” reads part of a separate statement released by the BFC following the return of their stolen items. “It is unfortunate that this incident went far beyond a friendly attempt at rivalry and has instead come off as an unspirited raid. The severity of these actions was shocking and well beyond what could be considered a good natured prank.”

EngSoc also expressed their disappointment and “will continue to have zero tolerance of actions of this kind”

Concerns regarding safety and security in the engineering buildings will be addressed at EngSoc’s upcoming board of directors meeting on July 18.

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