Someone wants to stop you from reading SFGN.
On two specific occasions in the last 24 hours, the culprit was observed opening and retrieving dozens of papers from the SFGN red distribution box at Northeast 14th Avenue by Art Serve at the eastern location adjoining Holiday Park.
The suspect then threw the papers into a large trash receptacles. Other newspapers at the same venue, including the New Times and Sun Sentinel were left untouched.
A thin man, likely in his late 50's riding a bicycle, and wearing a religious cross, has been identified as the suspect by two separate eyewitnesses. Each has posted about the incidents on Nextdoor.com, a neighborhood watch site in Victoria Park.
The most recent occurrence was at approximately 10 a.m. this morning, along with another one yesterday. The last reported case where a witness clearly identified the theft at the same location was on February 11.
But last week, at the Floridian, in front of the US Post Office at 1400 East Las Olas Blvd., another news box, full of SFGN, the Mirror, and the Guide to South Florida were also thrown out.
Publisher Norm Kent has reported the case to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, asking that the culprit be apprehended and charged with acts of vandalism and criminal mischief.
Kent, a criminal defense lawyer for 40 years, also advised that if it is proven his acts were purposely homophobic, targeting the gay community, the complaint could be upgraded to a felony and charged as a hate crime.
"The paper may be free," Kent said, "but our product is proprietary, has value, and is being purposely stolen and destroyed. We won't stand for it. We will prosecute."
The photo of the alleged culprit with this story was submitted to SFGN from an eyewitnesses.
"They are not just trashing our paper," Kent said. "They are trashing your rights as a free American citizen to have access to a free press; to the blessings of our first amendment, the ability to read what you want and speak what you believe."