CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4)– Campaign signs stolen from front yards and lawns isn’t a new phenomenon during election season, but one candidate for state Senate said he’s being hit especially hard.
David Balmer signs have been disappearing from Centennial neighborhoods with increased frequency in recent weeks.
Balmer is a Republican member of the Colorado House of Representatives, representing the 39th District since 2005. He is running for a vacated state Senate seat in the upcoming election.
“It was frustrating in the beginning and now it is beyond frustrating,” said Balmer. “We put out more than 3,000 signs and since then more than 500 of those 3,000 signs have been stolen right out of people’s front yards.”
Chris and Amy Cardillo had their Balmer sign stolen from their yard. It was one of six stolen from the neighborhood this week.
“I was angry, especially when I heard all of the signs were stolen. I was angry because it is just not the right thing to do,” said Chris Cardillo.
In one case, the sign was removed but the wire frame was left behind.
When asked why he thought he was being targeted, Balmer replied, “I don’t know. They actually are stealing just my signs.”
The Arapahoe County sheriff said Democrats have been victimized, too.
The signs cost $4 each. So far, Balmer has spent $2,000 replacing the stolen signs.
“I almost wish the thieves would send me a list of the signs that they stole last night so that it would save me time. I could just go back and replace those individual signs,” said Balmer.
Balmer’s opponent, David Paladino, a Democrat, told CBS4 that stealing a campaign sign is vandalism, pointless and counter-productive.
It’s also criminal. If the sheriff can prove one person stole at least $500 worth of signs it becomes a felony.
Balmer isn’t the only one noticing signs being stolen from neighboring yards.
Home surveillance video from Arapahoe County shows a car stopping in the road, the driver steps out and rips off a Mitt Romney sign. The sign stealing happened after the presidential debate in Denver on Wednesday.
Sheriff’s deputies are examining the video closely hoping to catch the thief.