Utah family feels like they’re being targeted over acceptance flags

Aug 22, 2022, 5:15 PM

SANDY, Utah — A Sandy family said they’re fed up with being targeted in the middle of the night by vandals poisoning their landscape.

“They started on the street side, very low, and we just couldn’t quite figure out what was happening,” said Robert Smith.

For nearly five months, Robert Smith has been trying to figure out why his landscape is dying.

“So we put cameras up to monitor while we were away or asleep, and low and behold, we found some suspicious activity.”

On Monday, Smith’s security cameras captured a man in a golf cart, driving around his house at 2 a.m.

“We saw this fellow come very close and very slow, right next to the curb, and you see some motion, some throwing motion.”

Then again on Wednesday at 1:30 a.m.

“I don’t know if it’s borax or what it is, but there is something that is killing the trees.”

Smith believes his family is being targeted because of the messages they choose to display.

“Some people will bring their animals by to defecate in our yard, and they’ve told us that they didn’t like our BLM flag or our ‘We’ll Trade Racists for Refugees’ flag.”

Sandy police said the Smiths have every right to display their beliefs, as long as the signs are not vulgar or obscene.

“That’s a form of free speech,” said Sgt. Greg Moffitt. “It’s on that homeowner, his or her property, that’s totally within their right.”

Moffitt said if someone is caught vandalizing a property, they could face charges.

“If it’s ten cents worth of damage or all the way up to $500 worth of damage, it will be a Class B misdemeanor,” Moffitt said.

At the Smith home, dead bushes and trees are stacking up.

“I already took one tree out because it completely died,” Smith said. “Here’s another that completely died.”

Smith said he’s fed up.

“This type of behavior shouldn’t be acceptable in a community that’s tight knit; it shouldn’t be acceptable in a community that is about respecting thy neighbor.”

Smith said he didn’t file a police report right away because he didn’t want to level accusations against a neighbor without evidence, but now that he has it, he’s ready to go to police.

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Utah family feels like they’re being targeted over acceptance flags