THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — Non-sworn Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and Ventura County District Attorney’s Office employees were among the three people arrested this weekend in the vandalism of a Black Lives Matter sign in Thousand Oaks.
Authorities said Craig Anderson, Jeffrey Moore and Darrin Stone vandalized the sign, which has been displayed along a fence on Westlake Boulevard for the past three weeks, on separate occasions. The owner of the sign placed a security camera nearby.
According to the VCSO, on May 31, Anderson is accused of cutting the sign down and was going to remove it from the area when he noticed the camera and left the sign at the scene. Anderson works as a non-sworn investigative assistant at the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.
Police said Moore stopped by the sign on June 11 and sprayed graffiti on it. He was allegedly driving a work truck that led to his identification as a suspect.
Stone is accused of the most recent incidents. According to VCSO, he was caught on camera on June 13 and June 19 slashing the sign. Stone serves as a non-sworn employee for VCSO as a service technician for the Pre-Trial Detention Facility in Ventura and has worked for the sheriff’s office since 2005. He was off-duty during both incidents and has been placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of criminal and administrative investigations into the incidents.
“I’m deeply disappointed that one of our employees involved himself in this type of illegal activity, especially when this is an infringement on someone’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech,” said Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub. “We will not tolerate unlawful or unethical behavior by anyone employed by our agency. We hold our employees to the highest standards, and there will be consequences for this.”
All three men have been cited for vandalism as the investigation continues.
This story has been updated.