UPDATE: Arrest made in connection to missing slave auction plaque from Court Square

UPDATE: Arrest made in connection to missing slave auction plaque from Court Square
The marker for a slave auction site in Charlottesville's Court Square is missing. (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - An arrest has been made in the case of a stolen historical plaque in Charlottesville’s Court Square on February 6.

Seventy-four-year-old Richard Allan III of Albemarle County was arrested at his studio around 4 p.m. without incident on Tuesday.

Allan was charged with two felonies: grand larceny and possession of burglarious tools. He is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail pending a bail review.


City of Charlottesville Press Release:

UPDATE as of 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 11, 2020

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - The Charlottesville Police Department has made an arrest in the theft of the bronze cast slave auction block plaque stolen on February 6, 2020 from Court Square. Richard H. Allan, III (74) was arrested at his Albemarle County studio at 4 p.m. without incident. Allan has been charged with two felonies: grand larceny and possession of burglarious tools. Allan is currently being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail pending a bail review.

Although an arrest has been made in this case, the Charlottesville Police Department continues to investigate the full extent of this crime to determine if additional charges are warranted or other individuals may be involved. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Detective A. Blank at (434) 970-3280 or Crime Stoppers at (434) 977-4000. A reward of up to $1,000 is available through Crime Stoppers for additional information.


The site of a stolen historical plaque in Charlottesville’s Court Square is was briefly covered with homemade memorials.

Someone likely placed two plaques to mark the slave auction block sometime in the early hours of Tuesday, February 11. One of the homemade markers was on the Zero Court Square building. The other covered the spot where a thief removed the city-owned historical plaque from the sidewalk last week.

Homemade markers were likely placed in Charlottesville's Court Square sometime early Tuesday, Feb. 11.
Homemade markers were likely placed in Charlottesville's Court Square sometime early Tuesday, Feb. 11. (Source: WVIR)

The plaque referred to the location as a “human auction site”.

The city had removed the two homemade plaques by sometime Tuesday afternoon.

Homemade plaques gone from where two official historic markers had been in Charlottesville Court Square.
Homemade plaques gone from where two official historic markers had been in Charlottesville Court Square. (Source: WVIR)

“The city has removed and will continue to remove any makeshift markers placed at the slave auction block site. As we continue our investigation into the missing marker, the City Manager is seeking recommendations from the Historic Resources Committee for a more-appropriate permanent marker in line with their ongoing work evaluating the other historic markers in the Court Square area. This is an important site in the city’s history and we can take this opportunity to improve the signage and add more historical context. Our goal remains to tell a more complete story about Charlottesville’s past here and in our downtown parks,” Charlottesville Spokesperson Brian Wheeler said in a statement to NBC29..

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