Renton man stole 138 campaign signs, police say
October 23, 2008
UPDATED — 12:10 p.m. October 24, 2008
A 43-year-old Renton man has been charged with eight misdemeanor counts of removing or defacing political advertising for stealing 138 campaign yard signs, King County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman John Urquhart said.
Randall J. Goulet faces a fine of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail for each count.
“We get reports like this every election season,” he said. “And usually, it’s like when people call and say, ‘Hey, my cat disappeared.’ What do you do, go out and round up all the coyotes?
“But this time, we got two independent people who got a license plate.”
Most of the signs belonged to Marcie Maxwell, a candidate for 41st District state representative.
The investigation began Sept. 28, when Maxwell reported to Newcastle Police that two people saw someone taking signs on separate occasions. They wrote down the license plate numbers of two cars used by that person, Urquhart said.
Deputies spoke with the husband of the registered owner of both vehicles and recovered 138 signs.
The signs were taken from along the Maple Valley Highway, unincorporated areas of Renton, and the cities of Newcastle and Bellevue.
“We do take these reports seriously and we will arrest these people when they’re stealing yard signs,” Urquhart said. “This threatens the very fabric of our democratic system.”
He said arrests have been made for stealing signs before, but he didn’t recall any specifics.