Town Heals and Remembers

Va. Police to Return Stolen Sandy Hook Memorial Signs

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    Police in Herndon, Virginia, are making a special trip to Connecticut Wednesday to return two signs stolen from parks honoring victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. (Published Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014)

    Police in Herndon, Virginia, are making a special trip to Connecticut Wednesday to return two signs stolen from parks honoring victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

    Andrew David Truelove, 28, is accused of stealing a memorial sign for 7-year-old Grace McDonnell from a park in Mystic, Connecticut, and another for 7-year-old Chase Kowalski from a park in Mantoloking, New Jersey. Both signs were stolen about a month ago.

    After stealing the sign from the park honoring McDonnell, he called the slain girl's mother to say her daughter "never existed" and that the shooting was a hoax, according to one of the playground's supporters.

    Stolen Sandy Hook Signs Returned

    [DC] Stolen Sandy Hook Signs Returned
    Police in Herndon, Virginia, are making a special trip to Connecticut Wednesday to return two signs stolen from parks honoring victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. (Published Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014)

    He was arrested in Herndon last week.

    New signs have since been installed at the parks, so officers will return the stolen signs to McDonnell and Kowalski's parents.

    "We think about Sandy Hook, we are all affected by Sandy Hook all the time," Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said last week. "And when you think about that and all the kids who were affected by that it's hard not to get emotional. And one of the things that our investigators talked about was having the honor of being able to take these signs back and hand them over to the families and put them back where they belong. That's most important to us."

    Truelove's father, Alan, maintains that his son didn't steal the signs.

    "They're chasing the wrong fella," Alan Truelove told NBC Washington. "So police have this investigation completely wrong."

    Police in Virginia said grand larceny charges in Connecticut and New Jersey are pending. Investigators may upgrade his charges to felonies.

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