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Reward offered for vandalism of Charlottesville statues

A reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest with the vandalism of the Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson statues in Charlottesville.

The $1,285 reward was donated by a “citizen,” according to Charlottesville Police Department Spokesman Tyler Hawn.

According to Hawn, the Charlottesville police do not necessarily publicize rewards offered through Crime Stoppers, an independent organization that forwards tips about criminal investigations to police.

Hawn said that the independent organization decides when to share information about rewards with the public. A state representative for Crime Stoppers did not return a request for comment before press time.

The statues have been a magnet for vigilante guardians and graffitists since the murder of Heather Heyer after the Unite the Right rally in August 2017.

Two men were sentenced in April for repeated attempts to remove tarps initially placed as shrouds over the statues.

Recent instances of vandalism occurred this fall; in September, someone tagged the statues with “1619” graffiti, referencing the year the first ship carrying enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia.

In October, the statues appeared to have been damaged in two separate incidents; several figures on the bases appeared to have been gouged.

Earlier this month, city officials removed an amateur tripwire and camera, placed in an apparent effort to catch potential future vandals of the Jackson statue.

No suspects have been arrested to date, but the vandalism cases remain under investigation, Hawn said. Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (434) 977-4000.

The city recently lost a lawsuit about 2017 votes to remove the statues, but plans to appeal the decision.

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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