seal  Purdue News

September 19, 2003

Former fraternity house mother accused of theft

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A former house mother for Theta Chi fraternity was arrested today (Friday, 9/19) by Purdue police for allegedly stealing items from house members over an approximately three-month period.

Debra J. Lutton, 51, 1224 N. 14th St., Lafayette, was arrested at 10:25 a.m. at her home on a warrant for three counts of theft. She was being held in the Tippecanoe County Jail in lieu of a $5,000 bond.

Police, who began an investigation into the thefts last spring, allege that Lutton stole a variety of items, including clothing, an electric drill and video games, from house members between May and August 2002. John Cox, Purdue police captain of special services, said that during the time the thefts occurred, Lutton was employed as a house mother at the fraternity, 800 David Ross Road.

The approximate value of items reported missing from the fraternity was $700, according to a police report. Cox said Lutton allegedly sold some of the stolen clothing to a local used-clothing outlet.

Theft is a Class D felony punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Writer: Brian Zink, (765) 494-2080,

Source: Capt. John Cox, (765) 494-8221,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page