Man caught stealing political sign on hidden camera - News, Weather & Sports

Man caught stealing political sign on hidden camera facing charges

Clark County conservatives say they've struggled to keep their election signs in the ground but they hope one thief who was caught on camera will help their cause.  

The grassroots group Liberty Alliance says their signs were targeted during August elections. Party leaders set up an undercover sting t ocatch the thief in the act.

They say it worked - and now 66-year-old John Ellis is facing charges for illegally removing a campaign sign.

"I knew the sign was going to go missing because it had every other time," said Precinct Committee Officer Lynda Wilson.

Wilson says it was a tough race to win her position - and half the battle was keeping her signs in the ground. The conservative activist says her signs were consistently stolen or vandalized.

That's why her Liberty Alliance supporters put a motion-sensitive camera in a tree inside Wilson's district. The footage shows a cyclist in a neon yellow shirt picking up a pro-Wilson sign and riding off with it. The video makers say they later found it with several others behind a tree.

The Liberty Alliance posted the video on youtube.

Police identified the man as Ellis, according to court documents. When officers asked the man about stealing the sign, Ellis said it was illegally placed on the median and no campaign signs should be allowed there.

Wilson's supporters say they hope the man's day in court will be a lesson to others.

"It's definitely a problem for candidates across the spectrum," Liberty Alliance Director Christian Berrigan said. "People just need to agree to protect each other's political speech and let the voters decide."

If Ellis is convicted, he could face a $1,000 fine or up to 90 days in jail.

Copyright 2012 KPTV(Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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