Reward offered in Lee Monument vandalism

RICHMOND – The Division of Capitol Police announced Tuesday a $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the individual or individuals responsible for vandalizing the Robert E. Lee Monument last weekend.

Virginia Capitol Police believe a pressurized spraying device was used to spread a red paint-like substance on the west and southwest sides of the monument’s pedestal. The vandalism occurred during the overnight hours of Friday night and Saturday morning. The Department of General Services (DGS) owns and maintains the property at Monument and Allen avenues, and Capitol Police is responsible for protecting it. DGS hired a cleaner to remove the substance on Saturday. The cost to DGS to remove the substance was more than $4,400. DGS is offering the reward.

“Vandalism of this magnitude on any state property comes at a cost to the taxpayer, and our hope is that this reward leads to the prosecution of those responsible so that cost can be recouped,” said Joe Damico, Director of the Department of General Services.

Capitol Police are continuing their investigation of the vandalism. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Capitol Police dispatch center at (804) 786-2568 and ask to speak with the investigator on duty. “While we respect the rights of people to speak freely, this was a case of vandalism, plain and simple,” said Col. Anthony S. Pike, the Capitol Police chief. “It crossed a line into criminal activity, and it will not be tolerated.”

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