The Centralia area experienced several instances of yard signs and flags being vandalized over the weekend of Oct. 2.
In Centralia, signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” “Rural Americans Against Racism,” “anti-racist,” county commissioner Sean Swope’s campaign signs and others were vandalized over the weekend of Oct. 2.
Centralia Police Sergeant Patty Finch said on Monday the department had only received two reports of theft or vandalism towards yard signs in the past 10 days, however, they were not related to the vandalism of the BLM or Swope signs.
One was the theft of a “blue line” flag in the 700 block of West Main Street at approximately 1:45 a.m. on Sunday and the other was a political sign that had been painted over in the 100 block of Harrison Avenue at around 9:47 a.m. on Monday.
She concluded that the department was unaware of the other reports of vandalism to yard signs because they were not reported to the police.
Additionally, Sergeant Gwen Carroll with the Chehalis Police Department said there were no reports of yard signs being vandalized over the weekend that were brought to her attention at her briefing Monday morning where she is filled in on all of the notable activity over the weekend.
Even so, Lucy Page said her BLM, Rural Americans Against Racism and anti-racist signs that were lined up outside of her coffee shop, Santa Lucia Coffee, on South Tower Avenue were vandalized at around 1 p.m. on Saturday.
According to Page, her kids were outside of her shop when about 50 cars, most of which donning “Trump 2020” flags, drove by making a commotion. Page was told by her kids that people in the cars shouted out things like “Don’t you know you are voting for the man who started the KKK?” Which appeared to be a reference, albeit inaccurate, to former Vice President Joe Biden.
Page said her kids went inside her shop to wait until the cars passed by. When they came back outside, all of her signs had been pushed over.
It was not the first time someone has vandalized her signs, Page said, and she had learned from prior experiences. All of her signs were securely fastened to the fence outside of her shop, preventing anyone from stealing them.
“Otherwise I’m sure they would have been gone all together,” Page told The Chronicle.
Page said she hadn’t reported anything to police but planned on doing so.
Meanwhile, on West Main Street, Swope was dealing with his own signs being vandalized as well. According to Swope, it is also not his first time dealing with yard sign vandals — this time around they cut out his face on the sign.
Swope keeps a good spirit about it.
“I guess they needed a halloween costume,” Swope said jokingly.
“I think at the end of the day it is probably some kids thinking they are having some fun, thinking they are funny,” Swope said. “I don’t take it to heart. I mean it costs money, obviously. It can be frustrating in the moment but then you have to have some perspective.”
Swope said he has had to replace other signs on Main Street and Mellen Street in the past, too.
As to whether he intended on filing a police report, he said “Oh no, I am not going to waste the police’s time for something this petty.”
At least one report of vandalism to yard signs also came out of East Lewis County.
On Friday, Susan Blubaugh, a Morton resident, posted on Facebook that a Biden campaign sign, a Rural Americans Against Racism sign and several small American flags were stolen from her property.
Blubaugh did not respond to The Chronicle’s request for comment.