Vandal stole 9K LED lights from veteran's memorial wall, Leesburg police say

Leesburg Memorial Wall vandal sought after being caught on surveillance video

Local 6 News at 6:00p
Local 6 News at 6:00p

LEESBURG, Fla. – Leesburg police want to know who ripped LED lights from a memorial wall with more than 9,000 names etched on it.

"Look up here, and it's all been ripped out all the way to that corner and the camera caught him pulling it out," Navy veteran, Jerry Sexsmith told Local 6.

Surveillance video shows the lights on, off to the the right, it shows the man in a camouflaged shirt messing with them then the lights are out.

The Veterans Memorial at Fountain Park in downtown Leesburg bears the names of Lake, Sumter, and Marion County veterans.

"[From] World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, even Iraq and Afghanistan," said Sexsmith as he showed Local 6 his name on the wall.

Sexsmith wonders if the culprit is a disgruntled veteran, spending around 17 minutes at the wall before stripping the memorial of its lights.

Leesburg Police say the man was bold even with "Smile, you're on camera" signs everywhere.

In one shot, you see the man try to cover up the camera with his shirt, slips right off, so then it shows him mess with the veteran name directory box, he thinks it triggers the cameras.

In the video, he returns, this time with a shirt covering his face before he takes the lights-- a move Sexsmith calls disrespectful.

"It's devastating and heartbreaking to hear because there is a lot of time and a lot of labor and a lot of money that went into this wall," said Sexsmith, adding that it would take away from thousands of men and women who gave so much for our country.

If you recognize the man call Leesburg Police at 352-728-9862.