Police are looking for suspects

ROSWELL, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Thomas Zgambo stood by an empty section of a fence on his property, which faces King Road, across from Roswell High School. He explained his “Black Lives Matter” signs were hanging there before vandals damaged and stole them.

“I put the first sign up in early June. A few weeks later it was just stolen. It was missing,” Zgambo said, before describing what happened after he put another sign up at the end of June. “Around 10:30 at night, a car pulled up. I put a video camera out at this point, and again, someone just again ripped the whole sign down and took it.”

Zgambo says he later put up a third sign.

“Just a few days ago, someone came during the day around eight in the morning, 7:50 in the morning, and just cut the middle out of the sign,” he said.

Roswell police released surveillance video and photos of one of two suspects seen damaging or taking the signs, one of them in broad daylight. They posted them on Facebook yesterday, hoping the public will help identify him.

“Every year, especially during election time, so every 4 years or so, there’s always a theft or defamation of political signs,” said Roswell Police Public Information Officer Sean Thompson, although some say the Black Lives Matter movement is not aligned with any political party. “People have a problem with respecting people’s rights with their First Amendment.”

Zgambo explained the next chain of events after police posted about the incidents on social media.

“A city official came by, and he dropped off two signs,” he said.

A code enforcement officer had taken two of the signs and returned them that day.

CW69 called him to find out why the city had them. The code enforcement officer explained the first one was taken in error after someone complained, although police confirmed city ordinance allows these signs on personal property. The officer also said a second sign was removed because it was vandalized and couldn’t be left up in that condition.

“It is interesting they came back in September to return a sign they took in early June,” Zgambo said.

A member of the community brought Zgambo a replacement sign, and he hung it on his fence hours later.

Police are urging anyone with information on the vandalized or stolen signs to contact Detective Scuderi at 770-640-4349. Information can also be sent anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.