Candidates complain of sign theft and vandalism

Updated: Aug. 17, 2020 at 6:44 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -It's the season where campaign signs begin popping up everywhere and there will be more before there are fewer. And already theft and vandalism of signs is an issue.

There is one candidate gathering up surveillance videos of somebody who allegedly went around stealing signs.

The video may become part of a criminal investigation into thefts and vandalism of political signs. Coordinator for several campaigns, Trevor Richard, says the signs are expensive and candidates can’t afford to lose them.

“Each one of these signs is very valuable and range anywhere from a small yard sign being $5 to $7 to your larger 4 x 8 s can go from $60 to $100 depending on the sign itself and the graphics,” said Richard.

Plus, he says because of the pandemic, candidates are not able to conduct usual campaign fundraising activities, so the signs are especially important in getting their names out to the public.

“These signs are worth money to these campaigns, and this is an unusual campaign season because the candidates cannot go out and raise money in the normal ways, they’re used to. In past campaigns they always had fundraisers, social events, gatherings, these candidates cannot do that this year which means fundraising is tight,” he said.

Obviously stealing and vandalism are crimes and depending on the value could result in fines or even jail time. Signs damaged or destroyed.

“These are criminal acts, simple criminal damage to property for vandalism whether you’re knocking a sign down, spray painting a sign or stealing a sign it is a crime punishable by $500 to $1000 or you can have punishment of six months in jail.”

And nowadays, surveillance cameras are everywhere, so whatever a person does there’s likely someone watching.

If the sign thefts are eventually investigated by law enforcement, we’ll let you know the outcome.

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