Local News

Man Caught On Tape Removing Election Signs

Posted October 28, 2004 9:05 a.m. EDT

— A Wake County man says he caught a campaign sign stealer on tape.

Bill Moore, of north Raleigh, said his free speech was trampled when three different sets of Bush-Cheney signs were swiped from his yard in less than a week.

"I was a little upset that people were stealing other people's property," Moore said.

As a result, Moore and his friend, Brent Sullivan, took action. They staked out in the woods armed with a video camera. Within an hour, they caught 59-year-old Edward Shook ripping up signs.

The men gave chase as Shook drove off. With video proof and a license plate number, Wake County deputies arrested Shook for misdemeanor larceny.

"It's ridiculous," Shook said as he left the courthouse. "It's litter."

In the hotly contested election season, political passions are crossing the line. Thieves stole computers from a Bush office in Washington state. In Ohio, burglars did the same at Kerry headquarters. A hidden camera caught some men tearing down a Bush sign.

"Whether it's pro-Bush, pro-Kerry, pro-Nader, the fact of the matter is they can express what they want and they shouldn't have their property stolen or removed or damaged," Moore said.

After checking the law, Moore made a point to place his signs beyond the 10-foot easement on his property. Shook was released on $800 bond.