Two likely unrelated crimes involving Trump campaign signs occurred in Newberry and Archer earlier this week.
Either early morning Oct 1st or late in the evening of Sept. 30th, two large “Trump Pence, Make America Great Again!” signs placed roadside on Highway 27 in Newberry across from the CountryWay Town Square development were vandalized with red paint spelling out “NAZI” in all caps.
Both 6-feet wide signs remained vandalized for two days until they were painted over in blue and white with the words “Trump Pence I Won” painted over the red letters.
On Oct. 2nd, Shaun Willis, owner of Mustang Grill located 9 miles due south of the signs in Newberry on Highway 27 had two 2-feet wide Trump campaign signs stolen.
One sign was removed from his business and the other from his personal residence in Archer.
According to Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Art Forgey, “Mr. Willis, the owner of the Mustang Grill, reported theft of Trump signs from his business property and personal property on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.
“He described the suspect as a white male, wearing a neon green t-shirt, dark color shorts with white socks and sneakers. The vehicle appeared to be older model Honda van with some damage on the left rear corner. The last three (numbers) of the Florida tag may possibly be AS1.
Willis said he has since learned the identity of the man who stole both signs and said people are contact him asking him to drop any charges. But Willis said the person took it too far when he chose to not only trespass on his business property, but also came to his residence and committed a crime.
According to Forgey, the theft of the small yard signs would be considered trespassing and petty theft and the graffiti on the large signs would be considered criminal mischief.