$1,000 reward offered for stolen sign information

By Linda Bentley | September 2, 2009

Spur Cross galleryBetween the evening of Aug. 24 and the morning of Aug. 25, someone climbed onto the roof of the former Spur Cross Gallery building and removed Jeri and Gary Rust’s “Jesus is Lord” sign, apparently cutting it loose with a razor knife.

It appears someone went out of their way to be an offended offender

CAVE CREEK – It’s been about nine years since Gary and Jeri Rust, who own the Tumbleweed Hotel, first hung their “Jesus is Lord” banner on the front of their building only to have it egged allegedly by a local photographer six years ago.

It’s also been about a year since the Rusts were involved in an incident involving a civil sign ordinance violation in which former Deputy Town Marshal Bobby Hernandez had the two arrested by Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies and booked into jail for attempting to defend their constitutional rights from illegal seizure of their property.

Charges against the Rusts were eventually dismissed with prejudice.

When the Rusts vacated the Spur Cross Gallery at the southwest corner of Cave Creek and School House roads and put the property on the market they left the “Jesus is Lord” banner up hanging in front of the “Spur Cross Gallery” sign painted on the parapet façade.

This time, someone climbed up onto the roof of the building between the evening of Aug, 24 and the morning of Aug, 25 and cut the banner down with what appeared to be a razor knife.

Jeri Rust said, “The people in this community are our friends. They have given us tremendous support and strength over the years. People in the community want what is best for Cave Creek and they are not just good friends but good citizens as well.”
However, she said, “There is coward out there – someone who doesn’t belong here – someone who lurks in the darkness with evil intentions.”

Jeri RustRust calls the person a “misfit with a hate for Jesus, our Lord and Savior.”

According to Rust, until they vacated the building about a year ago, the banner has been a symbol of strength for their family while enduring personal tragedy.

They also used to hang the banner on Sept. 11 and, as a reminder, during Christmas and Easter.

The Rusts asked if anyone knows who took their banner or has seen it disposed of somewhere to please contact them. They are also offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who committed this offense.

Anyone with information can either contact Rusts at the Tumbleweed Hotel: 480-488-3668 or Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office at 602-876-1742.

Photo: Jeri Rust, former owner of the Spur Cross Gallery, is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person that stole the “Jesus is Lord” sign.
Photos by Linda Bentley