Posey County Sheriff Tom Latham said his office is investigating a series of swastikas spray-painted on road signs along Smith Diamond Road in the rural southeastern section of the county. 44News counted at least 12 signs covered in the graffiti which were still visible as of Friday afternoon.
The sheriff’s office confirmed they received a report from a concerned Vectren employee who noticed the signs while working at the nearby A.B. Brown power plant. 44News was the only local media outlet to report on the signs.
USI senior Megan Thorne has been an active member of the Jewish community her entire life and now she can’t understand why someone would vandalize road signs by painting swastikas on them.
“Initially it’s disgusting,” Thorne said. “What is the honest drive behind one offending somebody to this point and two you’re attacking someone for no reason.”
Latham said his office has already stepped up patrols following the incident and it’s too early to tell whether a state or federal agency will be involved in the investigation.
“It’s not your first amendment right to destroy property in efforts of communicating that, if you want to express yourself, express yourself but do it morally and properly,” Latham said.
The sheriff says according to the details they have now, it is likely an isolated incident.
“It could be some children or kids out doing whatever they’re doing,” he said.
Thorne sees it another way.
“I think honestly a lot of the times, – if they are juvenile (we think) well they know better, they did know better, we all know better,” Thorne said.
Latham says that type of graffiti has no place in Posey County.
“There’s nothing that indicates at this point that there should be increased fear based on what was painted on this signs,” he said.
But for Thorne, she has questions.
“I do kind of think some of these are correlated, the synagogue here in Evansville they have had a lot of vandalism happen,” Thorne said. “Every Friday night when I go there I have to walk through a metal detector and there’s a police officer at a locked door and I don’t know how many people do that in the religious community that don’t go there.”