The LSU Kappa Sigma fraternity could be at the center of a recent epidemic of stolen Halloween decorations that has been sweeping through the city of Baton Rouge.
Baton Rouge resident Matt Johnson looked outside his window on Tuesday night to discover his handcrafted clown decoration was missing from his front yard. Johnson said another large inflatable clown was also stolen from a different house in Riverbend.
Johnson said he suspected a fraternity might be behind the theft based on things he had heard from other people.
Johnson reported that a similar decoration had disappeared a few years before, but it had never been recovered. This time, he decided to go searching for the culprits himself. He documented the investigation in a video he later posted on Instagram. The video shows Johnson finding the missing decoration under a large piece of tarp in front of the Kappa Sigma house.
“I didn’t know where to look,” Johnson said. “But I just took a left down Fraternity Lane and pulled up to Kappa Sigma. I didn’t know that was Kappa Sigma, but that’s just where I started looking.”
By the time Johnson got out of the car and looked under the tarp to discover that it was, in fact, the clown from his front yard, it was around 6 a.m. He immediately dialed 911 so the police could be on their way before talking to the house manager of Kappa Sigma.
“[The house manager] was cool, I don’t know if he knew or not,” Johnson said. “From what I can remember, he seemed really sorry. But I think most people would be sorry if they’re in trouble. I’m not trying to say all fraternities are shitty, but there are some people who ruin it for everybody by acting like this. It’s not funny, it’s annoying.”
Johnson called a friend to come meet him with a truck so they could take back the stolen item. Soon after, police arrived and helped them load it up into the back of the truck. The inflatable clown stolen from the house in Riverbend was also returned Wednesday afternoon.
Johnson then had to file reports with both BRPD and LSUPD. He intends on pressing full charges.
“The LSU cops seemed like they wanted me to press charges,” Johnson said. “They seemed pretty stern on wanting me to get them under investigation. They told me not to talk to [the house manager] again because he would sweet talk me. We all know there’s a lot of money within those fraternities, especially that one. It’s just stupid to have money and act a certain way.”
LSU Media Relations Director Ernie Ballard confirmed the University is conducting an investigation into the fraternity.
In his Instagram caption, Johnson mentioned that he would have considered loaning or renting the decorations to Kappa Sigma if they had asked, as he does frequently build and sell custom wooden decorations. Now, he is receiving interest from other fraternities.
“I’ve had a few fraternities hit me up now,” Johnson said. “They want to rent the clown from me as an ‘eff you’ to Kappa Sig. I’m looking into it.”
Johnson said he hopes the University takes action to prevent situations like this in the future.
“I don’t know what it takes to make an example,” Johnson said. “I wish they would out the people who actually did it, but if they have to punish the whole fraternity to get the point across, then that’s fine. I just wish the people who are actually responsible for this would grow some balls and admit it.”