OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) – Candidates around St. Landry Parish are getting upset with the tampering of their political signage.
It seems like a minor complaint, someone messed with a sign. St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says he’s not going to let the criminals get away with it.
Guidroz says when a complaint comes across his desk about a candidate’s sign being moved, stolen, and or destroyed, he will do what he can to find the person involved and will make sure they are held accountable. “It’s not fair. We spend a lot of money on these signs. They are not cheap, and it belongs to somebody. You should keep your hands off of it.”
During the political season, the Sheriff’s Office is receiving multiple complaints from political candidates saying their signs have been tampered with. He admits this is not a one time thing and it happens every election season. “We see signs defaced, destroyed and left to show their anger,” Guidroz explains.
He says he has even fallen victim to sign tampering in the past. “When political season comes around, people are investing money in signs and getting approval from landowners and homeowners. It is a big investment.”
Under Louisiana’s Criminal Mischief Law, it is illegal to steal or tamper with a political sign without the consent of the owner, therefore making it a criminal act. “Once a complaint comes in, these people can be fined no more than $500 or serve no more than 6 months in jail. There is a penalty there,” says Guidroz.
With 12 municipalities in the parish and multiple races within one municipality, Sheriff Guidroz admits it is hard to investigate and uncover every complaint but says the community helps with information “People will report to us that someone moved or threw away a sign,” Guidroz explains.
If a sign has been moved, stolen, or damaged, his office needs to know. You are asked to call the non-emergency police line at (337) 948-6516.