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N.C. Central Football Players Burglarized During Away Game

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DURHAM, N.C. — Burglars hit North Carolina Central University's locker room during the football team's game Saturday against Southern University.

Sneakers, money, and electronics were taken from the facility, located about a fourth of a mile from A.W. Mumford Stadium, said Kyle Serba, sports information director for Central.

Central's athletic director, Bill Hayes, said Monday, that an estimated $3,500 in belongings were stolen from 13 players. Players' championship rings were not taken, contrary to earlier reports, Hayes said.

The thefts occurred at some point during the game, which started at 6 p.m. and ended about 9 p.m.

"We were told by Southern University that the locker room was going to be secure," Serba said. "I don't see how this could have happened."

Southern Chancellor Edward Jackson said the university's police officers would work until they "get it resolved." Louisiana State Police are also investigating to help speed up the investigation. No suspects were reported.

Jackson added that the locker room burglary should not reflect poorly on the university's efforts to increase security in and directly surrounding Mumford Stadium.

Southern University officials decided more than a week ago to increase security at its home football games in response to a shooting across the street from the stadium that left a 59-year-old Port Allen man dead. The shooting happened off-campus at a credit union during Southern's first home football game.

Everyone who walks into the stadium must pass through metal detectors while their bags and purses are searched. The new measures also eliminate tailgating in the stadium's south end zone.

Central beat Southern 27-20.

"They just beat a very good football team," Serba said. "They should be excited, instead they are disappointed."

Central heads to Maryland this weekend to take on Buies State.

"We'll take our valuables box and take it on the field with us," Hayes said jokingly. "That won't happen again, trust me."