Thursday, April 8, 2004

Plates that poked fun at preppy Miami U. lifted

By Jon Gambrell
Enquirer contributor

OXFORD - Call it the tale of the purloined plates.

Bryan Ogg doesn't know if it was jealousy or drunken foolery, but his prized RedHawk-adorned JCREWU vanity license plates were stolen early Sunday morning.

"I've had these 21/2 years while at school, and no one touched them," the 23-year-old Miami University graduate said. "I come visit one day, and they're gone."

Ogg, who lives in Lima, bought his plates in a sarcastic jest, noting that Miami has long been associated with the "preppy" image of the New York-based clothing company J.Crew.

"It is a combination of preppy clothes and we kind of have a preppy frat-boy reputation on top of that," he said. "I've found it to be mostly true."

While not all of the campus' 16,000 students sport polo shirts and rumpled khaki pants, there is some truth to the "JCREWU" nickname.

"I think the look here is clean-cut," said Miami spokeswoman Claire Wagner. Wagner, who has been at the university 14 years, said mail-order clothing such as J.Crew and Lands' End are common campus attire.

Ogg surmises that someone used loose change to unscrew the plates from his Pontiac Grand Am and that now they're "hanging on someone's wall." Oxford police say they have no suspects.

His car now sporting temporary tags, Ogg awaits a second set of freshly pressed JCREWU plates from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. And the new ones won't be as easy to take.

"They're not going to get them again - with theft-deterrent bolts on the license plates," he said.

Does he wear anything by J.Crew?

"I don't even own a single piece," Ogg replied.


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