Stolen plaque upsets Selma community

FRESNO, Calif.

Many in the Selma community are asking people to take a close look at a man captured on surveillance video. They believe he is now trying to sell a much-celebrated plaque as scrap metal.

The video showed a man walk up to the front of a building in Downtown Selma, look inside and walk away. He quickly returned though and despite the warning sign out front, he removed the camera.

Building owner Scott Robertson noticed the cut wires Tuesday morning. Robertson said, "It's sickening. I was just nauseous when I got out and I knew it too man."

Robertson knew the bronze plaque had been taken off the wall. Empty bolt holes remained where the plaque had been proudly displayed.

Robertson said, "I guess we were a little naive. We thought since it belonged to the town and everyone rallied and donated to make it happen, everyone would protect it and 99-percent of the people have." The plaque and mural were dedicated on 9/11 of last year.

Roseann Galvan of Selma said, "You look at this mural and there's so many depictions of the early history of Selma and everything that came about in the community so it's like somebody's attacking the community when they come forward, doing what they're doing."

Selma Unified schoolchildren raised $2,000 to help make the $20,000 project happen.

Selma Unified Superintendent Mark Sutton explained, "That's what hurts the most, when you have 6-12 year olds giving their own money to contribute to something like this and then somebody without a real conscience comes along and does something like this. It's a shame."

The video's a bit dark but it's hoped someone in the Selma area will recognize this man.

The picture is all authorities have to go on. Everyone in Selma is asking the plaque be returned, no questions asked.

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