Tips from surveillance video lead police to juveniles suspected of vandalizing Trump sign in Cedar City

Sign reading "We Need Trump | Make American Great" is back on fence after being repainted following a vandalism incident in Cedar City, Utah, August 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Police say the two juveniles suspected of vandalizing a political sign in Cedar City were identified thanks to tips received from the public.

The incident reportedly occurred sometime around Aug. 7 near 500 E. Center Street, where a wooden sign reading “We Need Trump | Make America Great” has been affixed to a chain-link fence on private property on the north side of the street.

On Aug. 10, Cedar City Police Department posted a short video clip on its Facebook page asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects responsible for “spray painting someone else’s property.” 

Although the post did not specify when or where the black and white footage was taken, it appeared to show two mask-wearing females applying spray paint to a board at nighttime and taking pictures of their handiwork with their phones. 

The surveillance video was apparently captured by a private security camera mounted on a nearby telephone pole.

Screenshot from a since-removed surveillance video showing a purported vandalism incident in Cedar City, Utah, August 2020 | Photo courtesy of Cedar City Police Department, St. George News / Cedar City News

The police’s social media post appeared to be effective. By the following day, the police department had removed the video and updated the statement with a message saying the suspects had been identified and thanking the public for their input.

The following Tuesday, Cedar City Police Lt. Jimmy Roden told Cedar City News that the two teenage suspects were each cited on Monday for criminal mischief, a Class B misdemeanor. Their cases will be handled through the juvenile court system, as they are both under 18 years old.

“The video helped identify the two suspects,” Roden said. “Also, an anonymous tip was received about the suspects’ vehicle. Without the anonymous tip and the video, we would have had greater difficulty solving this crime. We are grateful for those who came forward with information.”

As for the sign itself, it was temporarily taken down before being repainted and put back into place on the fence a day or two after it had been defaced.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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