San Juan County Right to Life seeks help identifying vandal

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — San Juan County Right to Life is requesting the community's assistance in identifying a woman suspected of vandalizing more than a dozen anti-abortion signs throughout the region.

Marie Strickler, a board member for the local chapter of the national organization, said approximately 18 signs have been vandalized, with some damaged by knives and others spray painted. An anti-abortion sign the group purchased and placed at 30th Street and Farmington Avenue has been vandalized six times, Strickler said.

"We really want to talk to this woman, because we want to know why she is so bitter," she said. "These signs are fairly innocuous."

Strickler said the woman was infringing upon the group's right to free speech by vandalizing its signs.

"If she wants her free speech rights, then she has to grant us ours, too," Strickler said.

Farmington police spokeswoman Georgette Allen said the first instance of vandalism was reported in December, and the suspect has since caused more than $2,800 in damages.

"It's still an open investigation," she said. "We are doing what we can, but its difficult. We don't know when they will hit."

The most recent act of vandalism took place at 7:15 a.m. on Mother's Day, Allen said. Surveillance footage released by the police department shows a woman smiling as she vandalizes the sign located at 30th Street and Farmington Avenue.

San Juan County Crime Stoppers is offering a financial reward for information that leads to the suspect's arrest.

Anyone with information about the vandalism can report information to San Juan County Crime Stoppers at 505-334-8477 or to the Farmington police detectives tip line at 505-599-1068.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.