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Thieves taking political signs

by Minden Press-Herald

Election 2014 is in full swing and signs promoting various candidates have been sprouting up all over the area. But in the city limits of Minden, some campaign signs have been disappearing just about as fast as candidates can put them on display.

“It happens every election cycle to some degree, but this year, campaign signs seem to be disappearing very fast,” said Minden Chief of Police Steve Cropper. “We’re still several weeks away from the election (November 4) and it seems a little unusual that so many have gone missing.”

One candidate says he’s already lost about 70 percent of the signs he originally put out, and the total of those lost runs into thousands of dollars.

“I’ve lost $3,600 worth of signs and that’s a lot of money for me or for anyone,” Terry Gardner, a candidate for Minden’s city council, said. “We’ve lost about 75 small signs (18X24 inch), 26 of the two feet by four feet yard signs and one five-by-10 feet vinyl sign. I can’t afford to replace all of them.”

The large sign apparently had been cut from its frame by a box cutter or some similar cutting tool, Gardner said.

While some of his signs may have been “relocated” by individuals to another location, Gardner believes intentional acts are behind many of the missing signs. In fact, he’s taking a dramatic step to try and solve his problem.

“I’m offering a $1,000 cash reward to the person who provides information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for taking the campaign signs,” Gardner said.

Cropper said one other candidate in the upcoming elections, mayoral candidate Chad Odom, had also filed a complaint with his office over missing signs.

“I think it’s important for people to know that taking political signs may not sound all that serious, but signs are expensive and a person can be charged with a felony once the price of the items taken exceeds $500,”

Cropper said. “Our officers will arrest anyone we find removing political signs and the charges will depend on the situation.”

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