BETHESDA, Md. - A "Black Lives Matter" sign outside a Bethesda church has been stolen. It is the third incident involving the sign since the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation placed it near its entrance last month.
"Vandalized twice and stolen once and we think that's a pretty powerful indicator of the fact that frankly racism is alive and well in this country and right here in Bethesda," said Ladd.
Motion detecting surveillance cameras were reportedly installed after the sign was vandalized a week ago.
"It's possible that we have video of the people who stole this version of the banner," said Reverend Nancy Ladd.
Church leaders and longtime member Jana Kirkman met Tuesday night to determine the sign's fate.
"There are people, who really from a good place in their hearts, really genuinely feel that they need to make some sort of statement that all lives matter," said Kirkman.
Even so, controversial or not, stealing the sign is a crime.
"That is not opening respectful dialogue," Kirkman said. "That is a criminal act."
"Investigators have leads and some evidence," said Montgomery County Police Department Capt. Paul Starks. "They're going to follow that evidence where it leads them and hopefully find the person or persons involved in these three events."