Thursday, June 28, 2012
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Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals answers questions during a news conference Thursday about the recovered signs that were stolen from roadsides. Some signs were burned while others showed black smudges from fingerprint detection powder.
ALBANY -- Candidates for election agree on at least one thing -- stealing and damaging political signs is wrong.
The calls came in to the Lee County Sheriff's Office Tuesday that thieves were stealing election signs from the roadside in front of residences. The majority of the calls came in about theft of re-elect Reggie Rachals Sheriff of Lee County.
"One of the calls was about someone stealing my opponent's sign," Rachals said. "It was a false report, but no matter. No matter whose sign it is, it is illegal. No matter whose sign it is it should not be removed. I cannot stress that enough. It is against the law and they will be arrested."
Rachals' opponent, David Cheshire agreed. He agreed with Rachals that the thieves should be arrested if caught. "That is the way it should be."
About 32 signs were found discarded, some with burn marks, behind Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in a wooded area after the church groundskeeper called the sheriff's office.
The signs cost at least $5 each, Rachals said. There are others missing, so it adds up, he said.
Rachals didn't come out and blame Cheshire or his supporters. Cheshire also said he had signs missing, but also stopped short of putting blame on the sheriff's supporters.
"There are people out there that just hate law enforcement and us both," Cheshire said. "So they will do all they can to damage our signs and property."
The candidates each both they didn't need signs to win the election.