CHAPEL HILL — Eleven members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at UNC-Chapel Hill each were fined $100 and ordered to perform 72 hours of community service for stealing Christmas decorations from Chapel Hill homes.
The fraternity members were charged with misdemeanor possession of stolen property after a police search of the fraternity house turned up more than 150 decorations stolen from area homes. The police searched the house after one of the victims spotted students taking lawn decorations, and followed them to the SAE house.
In addition to the fine and communithy service, the fraternity members also must apologize in person to the victims and pay for decorations that were damaged or could not be returned.
Under the terms of the sentencing, the charges will be purged if the students carry out the terms of their sentence, meaning they will not have a criminal record.
The students declined to comment when leaving court Monday, but their attorneys said they regretted the incident and were trying to make up for their action.
Charges against three students were dismissed for lack of evidence about their involvement in the crimes.