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Stolen Sandy Hook Memorial Signs Recovered, Suspect Arrested

Authorities find large signs in room rented by suspect, according to police in Herndon, Va.

Signs recovered in a room rented by the suspect. Credit: Herndon Police Department, Va.
Signs recovered in a room rented by the suspect. Credit: Herndon Police Department, Va.
By Patch Editor Greg Hambrick 

Signs stolen from playgrounds named in honor of two children victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook School have been recovered in a Virginia home.

The alleged thief, 28-year-old Andrew David Truelove, has been charged in Herndon, Va., with possession of stolen property. Additional charges against Truelove are pending in Connecticut and New Jersey, according to the Herndon Police Department.

One sign was stolen from a playground in Mantoloking, N.J. honoring Chase Kowalski, and the other from Grace McDonnell's playground in Mystic, Conn.

Following the theft in Mystic, a man called the deceased child's mother, claiming that he stole the sign to prove that the shooting at Sandy Hook School was a hoax and that her daughter "never existed."

Authorities said the memorial signs were recovered at a home in the 400 block of Fillmore Street in Herndon where Truelove was renting a room. The investigation in Herndon began following a tip from the Stonington Police Department.

Truelove is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.  

The playgrounds are among 26 being built throughout the tri-state area through The Sandy Ground Project: Where Angels Play. The shooting at Sandy Hook School, on Dec. 14, 2012, claimed the life of 20 first graders and six educators — and each playground is being named in honor of a victim.

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