Reward Now Offered To Catch Sign Thief - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/8/08

Reward Now Offered To Catch Sign Thief

One Lubbock City Council Candidate says enough is enough. Now, District 4 candidate Paul Beane is offering a reward for the arrest and conviction of anyone caught stealing the campaign signs for any candidate.

Beane is offering a $500 reward.  He says it's on behalf of all candidates currently running for city council and mayor. Beane has seen more than 20 signs stolen, and he's not alone.

"We missed 25 Sunday night, and that's a sizeable amount of signs, especially in a district election" Beane said. He says all candidates have a right to promote themselves, and when someone takes their campaign signs, they also take away that right.

"I decided to put out a reward, maybe we can just stop it. That's what I'm interested in, is just getting it stopped so all of the candidates can promote themselves in a manner which they want to do, unimpede," Beane said.

He is not the only candidate who's had signs stolen. "The way I look at it it's theft," District 4 candidate Tom Keisling said. Keisling tells NewsChannel 11 someone has taken more than 20 of his signs.

"It's just not right; it doesn't matter if they're for that candidate or against them, it's just not ethical to do that," Keisling said. 

District 4 candidate Jerry Bell says he's had at least two large signs cut down and stolen. Beane also worries about how those who have a sign taken will react.

"Maybe they don't want another one in their yard, thinking maybe somebody might come back with a brick bat or something, so that's a concern to us.  I'd ask that anybody who is missing a sign, regardless if it's mine or our opponents or in the mayoral race, to try to get another one and show your support for the candidate of your choice," Beane said. 

Candidates say besides the inconvenience of replacing signs, they also have to deal with the cost. They estimate smaller yard signs run between $5 and $10. Large ones can cost around $100 or more. So, for each sign stolen, they lose that money, and have to pay for a replacement, and since political signs are considered personal property, someone caught stealing a sign could be charged with theft.

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