Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

A Winston-Salem man pleaded guilty to vandalizing Cape Hatteras Lighthouse with a pocket knife last year, according to the National Parks Service.

The letters “SEF” were carved into the original bronze door of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, a National Historic Landmark lighthouse that was completed in 1870.

It wasn’t immediately clear what “SEF” meant.

Jamie Underwood, 39, of Winston-Salem was identified as a suspect after Cape Hatteras National Seashore took to Facebook in June in search of tips to solve the 2018 crime.

Underwood pleaded guilty to the vandalism in federal court July 8 in Elizabeth City.

He was ordered to pay $1,922 in restitution for repairs and was placed on one year of probation.

A conservator painted over the vandalism with a specialized acrylic paint and will return in August to complete treatment of the door.

“Many residents of Hatteras Island have served as lighthouse keepers in the 1800s and 1900s, taking care of this iconic structure and helping to protect mariners off the coast,” David Hallac, the superintendent of National Parks of Eastern North Carolina, said in a news release. “It is important that we treat the lighthouse with respect to honor the structure itself and the legacy of those that served in it.

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