Dirty rotten scoundrels
That's a picture of some folks in my neighborhood a couple of years ago at the installation of our neighborhood sign. The sign was based on a design created by Grace Richardson, an artist who used to live in the neighborhood. Her life was cut short in an automobile accident, and she is remembered as well by her friends who have built the Grace Garden, in Durham Central Park.
Andrew Preiss, another neighborhood artist, (pictured front with the white t=shirt and baseball cap) created the sign in his studio on Foster St. two years ago. Andrew is a 1991 graduate of Duke University. The construction of the sign was financed by many months of fundraisers held by the neighborhood association. Upwards of 15,000 people drive past it every day.
That's what neighbors noticed on Tuesday.
Initial speculation centered on the theft of the copper letters for scrap metal, and area scrap dealers were alerted to be on the lookout.
DE has learned that is not the case, at least as far as the initial theft is concerned. (The remaining letters were missing as of Thursday afternoon in what may have been a copycat theft inspired by the original reporting. We're still looking into that.) Negotiations for the return of the missing letters are apparently ongoing. We're not prepared at this point to name the culprits, but we will say this: When all is said and done, this will probably not mark a high point in Duke/Durham town/gown relations.