TAYLOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — The ugly side of politics is being exposed in Taylor as a thief is caught on camera stealing a campaign sign.
It’s led to a police investigation and possible charges. Police it happened around 10 a.m. Wednesday.
A man was seen on surveillance video approaching a campaign sign for Jim Desana, a candidate for state representative, and removing it from the area of Goddard and Holland roads.
Property owner Joe Persiconi has expressed his outrage after allowing both candidates to place signs there.
“Do not steal the sign. The sign is there. You keep yours and I keep mine,” said Joe Persiconi, who is not affiliated with either campaign.
Taylor police say tips led them to the suspect’s home and vehicle, where they found the sign in the trunk. A cell phone video taken by a neighbor captured it as it happened.
“You’re caught on camera. It’s clear as day. People will see the video. Our signs have been stolen over a 10- to 12-day period. Twenty-five large signs have disappeared,” Desana said.
Police say so far, no charges have been filed, but they will investigate this as a case of larceny. The man caught on video was ticketed in the meantime.
“We take every crime in Taylor serious. Stealing or allegations of theft, we investigate that like any other crime in the city,” Taylor Police Department Sgt. Brian Wojtowicz said.
In the meantime, opponent Rep. Alex Garza was not available for an interview, but did send a statement that reads:
"My work has always centered around civility. I do not condone stealing any candidate's signs. I'm hopeful the investigation by our trusted police is successful."
Police say they have returned the stolen sign, and detectives are now looking into whether anyone else played a role.