Man arrested for vandalism spree

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DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — A man is accused of defacing property all across the city.

35-year-old Travis Stewart was arrested Sunday night for the crimes. Police say he spray painted “traitor” on five different buildings in the city including the police department , the courthouse, Decatur Memorial Hospital, Heritage Behavioral Health, and Decatur Bicycle Shoppe.

Stewart has a track record with Decatur Police. Two days before this, on Friday, they arrested him for breaking the windows of the same bicycle shop he came back to vandalize on Sunday night.

Co-owner Scott Magruder says, “I can’t really describe how fast my heart was beating in that moment.” Panic and anger raced through his mind when he saw the word “traitor” plastered across his bicycle shop. He says, “I just don’t know to what extent he’s going to take out his anger. It’s terrifying. Travis needs a lot of help. I have a lot of hate for him.”

Magruder has an idea of why he was targeted. Stewart would come into the store quite often. He says, “He would spend hours in the store being as loud as possible, cursing, spitting on people. Once he started taking product without payment or permission, he went over to the other store and expressed to them that he was going to burn this place down.”

He says Stewart even super glued the door locks shut so they couldn’t get in. But that didn’t stop Magruder from opening up his shop the next day.

Long-time customer Steve Lobb came in Monday afternoon for a repair when he noticed the disappointing difference at the entrance. He says, “It’s sad that someone they were trying to take care of and treated well, because they treat everyone well, has for whatever reason chosen to turn against them.”

While there is about $5,000 in damage, it’s a setback they will come back from. Magruder says, “There’s no reason to back down at this point. I have a responsibility to protect my customers, employees, and my co-owner. “

The business owners installed security cameras outside the store and are pursing a restraining order against Stewart.

The Macon County State’s Attorney will be reviewing charges for criminal defacement of property and trespassing this week.

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