Police Return Signs Stolen From Sandy Hook Playgrounds

By Ari Mason and Jeff Stoecker
|  Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014  |  Updated 9:02 PM EDT
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Signs stolen from playgrounds to honor victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary...are back in Connecticut.  Police officers from Virginia drove them up today.

Signs stolen from playgrounds to honor victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary...are back in Connecticut. Police officers from Virginia drove them up today.

Two signs stolen from playgrounds dedicated to 7-year-old victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre are returning to the children’s families just days after the arrest of the man who allegedly took them.

Officers from the Herndon Police Department, the agency that arrested 28-year-old Andrew Truelove in Virginia on Friday, made the seven-hour drive to Stonington from just outside Washington, D.C. Wednesday afternoon.

They had the stolen signs in tow.

The signs, taken from Grace McDonnell’s memorial playground in Mystic and Chase Kowalski’s playground in New Jersey, were replaced shortly after they were stolen in May. The recovered signs will go to the McDonnell and Kowalski families.

“It was quite evident that the public here in Stonington, and I’m sure throughout the state, felt an emotional connection to this investigation,” said Stonington police Capt. Jerry Desmond.

Police tracked down Truelove after he emailed photos of the signs in his living room to Chez Pazienza, a reporter and blogger for The Daily Banter.

“I was really angry and I wanted to see this person go down for this,” Pazienza told NBC Connecticut on Friday. “I wasn’t just going to let it go.”

Police say Truelove denies that the deadly shootings ever took place. He’s behind bars in Virginia, charged with possession of stolen property.

Authorities are hopeful that returning these signs will help bring the focus back to the children to whom these playgrounds are dedicated.

“This is about Grace and Chase,” said Herndon police Lt. Jim Moore.

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