WENHAM — Police announced on Friday that they are seeking misdemeanor larceny charges against an older man and woman from Danvers for the thefts of three Black Lives Matter signs from homes in Wenham in recent weeks.
The two, a 78-year-old man and a 67-year-old woman, will be sent a summons advising them of the requested charges and to appear at a clerk-magistrate's "show cause" hearing, where the magistrate will determine if there is adequate evidence to support the charges.
Police did not release the names of the two suspects, and filings and proceedings in front of the clerk-magistrate prior to a decision on whether there is probable cause are secret. The matter will be heard in the Ipswich session of the Newburyport District Court.
Police received two calls, on July 19 and July 20, reporting the thefts of signs from their property on Maple Street, police said.
On the morning of July 25, police received a call from a resident reporting that two people were stealing a Black Lives Matter sign from a Cherry Street property.
Police determined that the same people were responsible in both incidents.
"The actions of these two individuals are uncalled for, and directly contradict the respect and compassion we need to show each other during this time of learning and growth," police Chief Thomas Perkins said in a press release Friday.
“Actions like this have no place in our town,” said Town Administrator Anthony Ansaldi in the same announcement, calling the town of Wenham "an open and inclusive place for all." He praised police for swiftly identifying the suspects.
Ansaldi told town selectmen on Tuesday that police caught the pair in the act of stealing the sign on July 25. The two were not arrested.
Marblehead police have similarly filed a request for charges to be brought against a man over vandalism to the Black Lives Matter banner hanging outside the Unitarian Universalist Church on Mugford Street on June 28.
The theft of a Black Lives Matter flag from outside of Beverly City Hall was also reported to have happened on July 4 or 5.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.