A man running for political office puts up a large campaign sign. It disappears, so he replaces it. The second sign disappears, and this time he puts up a camera to see where the signs are going. The cameras catch a man cutting the signs down with a chainsaw. The Lake County Sheriff’s office posts screenshots on social media, looking for the man.

He is found almost immediately, because he approached deputies who were on the scene, investigating the alleged crime. Who is he? Well, he claims to be the owner of the property, and states that the signs were put there without his permission. The political candidate parades out a caretaker of the adjoining property, who states that the signs were on his employer’s property.

Instead of simply moving the signs a few feet, so that they are clearly on the property of the person whose permission was given, the cops are choosing to make this a major case, and have referred this to the State Attorney’s office for prosecution. Why are the cops wasting thousands of dollars over what is obviously a civil dispute, and not an intentional crime? Even if charges are pressed, they are unlikely to get a conviction because any potential charges for vandalism or criminal mischief would not be able to show intent.

Well, what the stories don’t tell you is that the political candidate in question is a Tavares police officer. THAT is why they are making a big deal out of it. If I were the property owner, I would hire an attorney and prosecute for trespass, seeing as how the cop had to climb over a fence to place the sign.

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