Phoenix man arrested for defacing road signs near Crown King

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William Leigh Dougan By Jennifer Thomas William Leigh Dougan By Jennifer Thomas

CROWN KING, Ariz. -- A 57-year-old Phoenix man was arrested for defacing road signs near Crown King.

A Yavapai County sheriff's deputy arrested William Leigh Dougan Saturday morning after reportedly seeing him place a sticker on a road sign.

According to sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn, a suspect has been putting stickers on road signs over the past two months. One sticker demanded that tax dollars be put to work efficiently and another criticized road-grading operations.

Deputies recently developed information from cameras, witnesses and tire track evidence that indicated the suspect was male, sometimes wore a cowboy hat and drove a white truck.

Deputies began coordinating undercover surveillance in the target area of Old Cordes.

According to D'Evelyn, a deputy noticed a white truck stopping several times along the roadway from Crown King at approximately 6 a.m. Saturday. He reportedly saw the driver exit the truck and begin scraping the surface of a road sign. He then placed a bumper sticker-sized label on the sign's surface.

The deputy made contact with the man, later identified as Dougan, and found several labels in his pocket that matched the wording on labels used to deface signs during the last two months.

The deputy said Dougan wore clothing and a hat fitting the description developed during the investigation.

Dougan told deputies that he lives in Phoenix where he takes care of his ailing mother and travels to the Crown King area to camp out and rest. Dougan reportedly admitted placing the labels on signs out of frustration with the poor condition of the road.

D'Evelyn said Dougan acknowledged calling the road department several times to complain but did not believe they took his concerns seriously.

Dougan was arrested for defacing/damaging property and booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center. Since his arrest, Dougan has been released on a $5,000 bond pending court action.

Yavapai County Public Works officials estimate the cost of repairing the damage to the road signs during the last two months at $5,000.